Lourdes Part II: Called

God calls each of us in different ways.

He may speak words that we hear in our minds or words that we hear through another person.

He may place a deep feeling within our heart or allow us to receive a revelation through Scripture or prayer.

We may experience His call in a dramatic or sudden way. More often, the encounter is gentle or gradual.

A call from God is both personal and specific. Each person’s experience is unique, and it can be hard to explain or put into words.

In this post, I’d like to share more about my call to Lourdes.

“Would you do me the kindness of coming here for fifteen days?” ~ Blessed Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous, February 18, 1858

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Lourdes Part I: Our Prayer Intentions

I arrived in Lourdes, France on July 31st and left on August 6th.

(I learned that Lourdes is pronounced “Lourd” in French.)

It was a special experience that I’m grateful for. It still seems surreal that God permitted us to go!

Lourdes is a beautiful place, and I hope to return someday.

I’ve been reflecting on my time there, and I’m sure I’ll continue this process for a while…

Since so much occurred during the pilgrimage — and so much is continuing to unfold — I plan to write about it in pieces.

In this post, I’ll share how my friend and I presented our prayer intentions (both your intentions and mine).

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The Lord is Near to the Brokenhearted

Has your heart ever been broken?
Has your spirit ever been crushed?

We’ve all been there.

We’ve all had an experience, or more than one, that caused us to feel emotional pain.

An experience that made our hearts ache. An experience that made us feel like we were kicked in the stomach and had the wind knocked out of us.

Whether we’ve experienced the loss of a loved one; end of a romantic relationship; betrayal of a significant other, friend or family member; or something similar, we can probably remember how much it hurt.

When we go through painful situations, do we try to deal with them on our own or do we turn to the Lord for help?

When we go through painful situations, do we believe God is somewhere off in the distance or right there with us?

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All Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength

This past Sunday, the first reading at Mass was from the Book of Deuteronomy. Moses said to the people,

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (6:4-5).

In the Gospel, we heard Jesus echo the words of Moses. Jesus said,

The first [commandment] is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).

What does it mean to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?

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