Lourdes was once described to me as the "Disneyland of the Catholic Church," as "God's Magic Kingdom." I had to reply that it is the complete opposite. Disneyland is a commercial enterprise where joy and pleasure is manufactured and paid for. Lourdes is about generosity of spirit where true joy is found in giving time and loving service freely to the sick and those in need. It has nothing to do with magic or fairy tales and legends. It is founded on reality, a remarkable reality, historical reality, above all a sacred reality. From the Introduction
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the miracle of Lourdes, where Our Lady appeared to French schoolgirl Bernadette Soubirous, Father John Lochran retells the familiar story with deep insight and new appreciation. Lochran explores the history and meaning of the miraculous events in light of modern theology and spirituality and offers his own reflections on Lourdes, then and now. This armchair pilgrimage to one of the church's most beloved shrines will be a treasured keepsake for those who have never been to Lourdes and for those who have.
JOHN LOCHRAN was chaplain to English-speaking pilgrims to Lourdes from 1985 to 1995. Today he is pastor of two parishes, a large hospital and a hospice in Wales.
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