Above is the first sacred image I encountered in a church, a reproduction of the Lourdes grotto in my home parish. These were the “two girls in a cave” I thought to myself, making my way back to the sixth grade rows with my classmates.
My parish is celebrating anointing of the sick at Mass today and tomorrow. It seems fitting to have that link, something of which I was entirely unaware for my early months as an aspiring Catholic, then a neophyte.
I can think of two pilgrimages in the world I would dearly love to make. One of which would be to walk between the grotto in Lourdes and the basilica dedicated to Saint James. I have probably far fewer years of ability ahead of me than in my past.
As I grow older, it is perhaps a regret I was so unaware of pilgrimages around the world. If I were to drop about thirty or forty years into the past, I wouldn’t be a glutton about walking the world. Just give me Guadalupe and Lourdes, and I would feel happy.