Thursday, November 1, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Lourdes

Sunday, October 14, 2012
My family and I were leaving Lourdes today. It was a pleasure for us to be able to attend the Sunday mass at Sts. Cosmos and Damian Chapel at 9 AM before our departure. This morning, there was a big group of Sri Lankans pilgrims at the church. The incognito Cardinal Rosales was still there, con-celebrating the Sunday mass with other priests. After the mass, I shook hands with the cardinal and told him that we were leaving Lourdes. I could have chatted with him some more but as usual, he was aloof to me. The Sri Lankas on the other hand surrounded a colored priest who may also be a celebrity at home and they were all so happy talking to him. I was kind of slighted by the cardinal aloofness in contrast with the other group. This time I left the incognito cardinal alone in peace.

After the mass, we had to hurry back to the hotel to finish packing up for our trip back to Paris. Our mini van driver would be picking us up at noon. I had a feeling of pang in my heart leaving Lourdes. After all I had known her for 3 days. It was a blessing for me to have done this pilgrimage with my family. They all helped me fulfilled my obligations. I hoped and prayed that Our Lady had done healing miracles for each one of them too.

Our mini van driver was a gregarious fellow who chatted with us along the way.
"Across that tree over there is Spain already." He pointed at one time.
"How do you like it here?" He asked.
"Lourdes is beautiful." I said. "Our Lady really knew how to choose a beautiful place." Something to that effect.
"Yes, I know." He replied.
"This place is like paradise." I added.
"That, I do not know." Came his witty reply. We all laughed.
On the way, my heart was in pain leaving Lourdes. I had loved it here.

Our flight to Paris was scheduled at four o'clock PM. We arrived the airport too early at noon. The airport although opened was almost deserted.  But we had not taken our lunch yet, intending to eat at the airport. The driver told us that the restaurant inside was good and indeed it was. The place was chic and spacious. The food was delicious and well plated. It was not costly too. We felt like eating our meal at a 5 star hotel with our food prepared by a well known chef. We all enjoyed our lunch eating like the French, bidding our time to consume and savor the delicious food. This was another well spent dining experience at Lourdes. (You should eat at the airport if ever you are there.)

Leaving Lourdes was such a sweet parting sorrow. Thank you Lord and my blessed mother for this my pilgrimage. It was a rare and meaningful journey for all of us. Thank you! I love you so!!!