Pastor’s Note: Let God’s Love Flow
As I write this article I am in Lourdes on pilgrimage with 35 parishioners from Holy Spirit Parish. While it was a long trip to get here arriving at 9:00 p.m. in Lourdes, we had morning Mass at 7:30 a.m. at the Grotto shrine itself. And it
was very special indeed. What a wonderful place of pilgrimage! Thousands of people come here every day seeking healing from God through the intercession of Mary and St. Bernadette.
The nun who gave us a personal guided tour of Lourdes paused at the Grotto to give a deeper analysis of the reason why Mother Mary appeared to St. Bernadette at a grotto. She said the grotto was a symbol of the human heart. Mary invited Bernadette to go into the grotto and drink from the fresh water. But when Bernadette got there, the grotto had no fresh running water but rather stagnant water. The grotto was basically a set of caves with no light and it was covered in thorn bushes with pigs living there. Bernadette took the courage to go in and she pulled back all the grass and bushes scrapping at the mud for water. Then miraculously a font of water started to pour forth and has been flowing solidly ever since.
The nun reminded us that the grotto is symbolic of the human heart. We have to take the courage to reach deeper into our own heart where Christ alone dwells. If we allow the thorn bushes, grass and mud to overgrow then the water cannot pour forth. We have to do the same thing as Bernadette; we must remove all obstacles that stop the water of life from Christ to flow freely. It is up to us to scrape away all the pain, the unforgiveness, and the distractions of life that stand in our way. We are called to dive deep within ourselves and realize that the water of life dwells within us.
It is not always easy to spend time alone with the Lord, I understand but we must make it our priority to do so. The water of Christ that dwells within our own heart is God’s love that flows freely without us having to do anything for it. We just need to allow it to flow. It sounds too easy but it is the simplicity that makes it so powerful.
As we continue our pilgrimage to Fatima and Santiago de Compostela we will try to remove the darkness in our hearts and invite you to do the same. May we allow the fresh water of God’s love and grace to flow freely within us. It is too good to be true so allow the water of God’s love to flow within your heart and to others!
Fr. Brendan McGuire