three good things
Many partings – and a few welcomes
Today started at 5 and finished at 3 the next morning. Grateful I can still manage it, and in fact manage it with enthusiasm and energy and a hangover.
Crack cleaning on the St Frai started at 5.30 and finished by 9.30. Grateful to the youngsters for putting their backs into it after a slow start. Once they got to know the ropes they plugged away at it until the floor was empty, clean and and chance of cross-infection minimised. Looking back, its an achievement to have it completed in good time for Liverpool, Westminster and OMV to come in.
Emotional farewells to APs and the main pilgrimage as they left (much earlier than usual this year). Many sweaty hugs and tears, which just shows the power of Lourdes to bring people together. I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing pilgrimage and to contribute to it.
Grateful to the St Sauveur for allowing me use of my room until midday, which meant I was able to shower and pack at leisure before switching hotels.
Mass in Sacre Coeur was at 10.30 for those still remaining, which were quite a number including the first timers and the Americans. Lovely to hear Fr Francis wish us all adieu in his short and uplifting homily. We finished with the Salve Regina after which no one rushed to leave. It was almost as though we didn’t want it to end.
Yet more farewells outside the chapel were just too much, especially some genuine and humbling comments from other pilgrims, and so grateful to Stephanie for support, hugs and coffee at the Brancs.
Bought some herbs de provence and pate dfg from La Gascoine, my favourite shop in Lourdes, and stocked up on some tasteless cat tat before heading to the Basilica for the Tantum Ego and benediction (and the wonderful music).
Joined the last remnants of the pilgrimage in the Brancs for supper, where we were also able to welcome the advance guard of the Westminster pilgrimage, which arrives tomorrow. Not an early night, needless to say and one in which we set the world to rights (I think) before a final late night visit to the Grotto to say farewell to Our Lady of Lourdes and to light some last candles (that contactless payment again – the profane imposing itself on the sacred). A wonderful end to a wonderful pilgrimage.
Now there is something to be truly grateful for!
A Gratitude Journal is just a simple way of
recording and appreciating the good things in life.
Research shows that keeping a gratitude journal leads to
higher levels of alertness, happiness and positive emotions as well as
a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure and better sleep.
See more entries at https://jeremy.deedes.com/category/personal/gratitude/