Day 50

Greetings from Lourdes,

Thank you all of you who joined us from all over the world today as we visited the baths at Lourdes and placed Catie, (and most of the rest of us) in the healing waters of Bernadette’s miraculous spring. There were masses, Eucharistic adorations, prayers services, rosaries, and prayers storming heaven from thousands, and we are eternally blessed and grateful to all of you. While she did not emerge from the 50 degree spring water by jumping out and running around yelling, “I can feel my legs again, and are you crazy for trying to freeze me?”, she is sitting in front of me playing “Go-fish” at midnight and her spirit is as positive and beautiful as ever. Max summed up our combination of disappointment and hopefulness by saying, “sometimes miracles take a little time”.

We have had a wonderful pilgrimage, and Fr. Keith has done an amazing job of infusing mass, processions with candles, church visits, and tours around the holy places of Lourdes into the crazy, busy life of the 23 of us who have journeyed here. Meals, accommodations, and transportation have been seamless, and we have been blessed to be able to enjoy the time and take care of Catie and the fab 5 and each other. The readings each day at mass have touched me deeply, and I have spent hours weeping and trying to figure out God’s plan. “God’s time is not our time, and His ways are not our ways” from Isiah provides the answers to all of the questions, and yet in the solace, there is still sorrow and questioning. Perhaps there always will be until Catie’s journey “ends” one way or the other.

There is a peacefulness and a proximity to heaven in this city that is palpable and comforting. As we walk up and down hills and from the hotel to the church to the grotto to shops on the streets, we imagine how amazing this city that is mostly closed at this time of year and is home to 5 million pilgrims each year between March and October is when it is fully open. We continue to focus on trusting God as we have since Catie’s journey began, and if we look back, the blessings and graces that have been given to us are plentiful. There is ample evidence that God will always love us as much as he always has, He is constant. In the Book of Revelations, as God shows John the eternal kingdom and promises His faithfulness, God makes a point of saying that His words are trustworthy and true. We can TRUST God, He will never fail us. We know how this story ends, there is no doubt. As I watch Catie sitting in her wheelchair praying prayers almost constantly, (unless she is eating or sleeping), there is not a shadow of a doubt that she will spend eternity in heaven with God her Father. She attains a level of serenity and communion with God that is awe inspiring and I find myself desiring such an intimacy with God. Perhaps that is today’s lesson, despite the disappointment we all share, the one person who was most impacted by it went right back to her relationship with the Father. Catie did not dwell on what might have been or what tomorrow will bring, but embraced the moment and the beauty of the surroundings and reveled in it and shared it with God.

The weather which has been clear for days, turned suddenly this evening. As we walked in a candle-light procession back to the grotto praying the rosary, the heavens opened and a light rain washed over us. I looked up to heaven and wondered if God was sharing in our sorrow. Was He telling us that His plan is better served by Catie’s continued battle with this disease? And if so, were those His tears washing over us and covering us with His grace and letting us know that like a flower emerges in response to the spring rains, Catie’s triumph in heaven will be worth the rainy days?

We will let you know when we are back in the states, and continue to bring your intentions to God.

Still praying for a miracle,

Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Catie, Mia, Molly, M.E., Megan, Grammy, Poppy, Mom-Mom, Da, Aunt KC, Uncle Sean, Aunt Pilar, cousins Helen and Jack, Toni, Gene, Franchetta, Isabella Groves, and Fr. Keith

Praying for a miracle… Paris!

Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Catie, Mia, Molly, and M.E.

God bless you all !

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