I saw a mini-doco on the French town of Lourdes last night on TV and it got me a little mad, and also got me thinking – a dangerous combination to be sure! 🙂
You probably all have heard something about this place, now a ‘Mecca’ for the desperately sick and hopeful seeking cures for what ails them. Some EIGHT MILLION visitors every year, and growing!
I find it an interesting commentary on the ‘validity’ of Lourdes as being THE place where miracles are granted that, while, it has been a place of pilgrimage for over 150 years, Wikipedia declares the Vatican has confirmed that a total of 67! are ‘unexplained ‘ cures (man cannot explain them, so far). They are investigating another seven thousand or so claims ‘worthy of interest’.
Out of what must now amount to something near 100 million seeking their God’s sympathy and compassion (many of whom are repeat visitors coming once a year for decades in some cases) it is hardly ‘overwhelmingly’ obvious this is a place where miracles are granted. It is certainly a place where statistically there is a better than ‘usual’ chance of a cure simply by reason of the fact that so many sick people show up there – hope attached.
One of the things that got me feeling a little ‘mad’ (angry, even) was one ‘true believer’s’ comment that he was “110% positive that it was the spring and the waters that were the source of the miraculous ‘cures’ ”
Jesus makes it clear to one and all in the New Testament that it is by our FAITH we are healed – if we had Faith as a mustard seed (a very, very tiny thing – but ‘alive’ and can grow into a full-fledged plant, full of powerful ‘flavours’) Matt Ch 9, Matt 17:20, Lk 17:6, amongst others.
Yet supposedly religious people who believe in Jesus ‘totally’ (and whom i am bound to believe READ their bible’s) can make declarations like the one above – it is the water that cured me!
Am I the only one who sees this as a kind of blasphemy – denial of The Saviour’s recorded word?
It is our Faith – our heartfelt belief – that allows God to send us the ‘cure’ for what ails us… or rather, not send it to us, since it is there always, but allows us to accept it and not spend all our time rejecting the True and Faithful Word of God while we listen to our, and our friends, earthly complaints.
It is more than this though – we are ‘responsible’ for virtually everything that ‘befalls’ to us in our minds and bodies. While we do not ’cause’ ‘accidents’ ( some do happen) directly, we attract certain conditions to ourselves through our unending daily ‘choices’ we make in our lives – what we ‘choose’ to pay attention to and surround ourselves with.
God offers us an infinite range of choices and we ‘select’ the ones that we do for all the many reasons that we have – often as a result of our ‘culture’, community and close human connections.
So is it necessary (or even helpful) to invest time and money visiting the place a 14 year old girl claims to have seen her vision (a total of almost 20 times)?
Or is our Faith something that needs to come from withinside of us – and not from a bottle of spring water?
Do we need to let Jesus and our Faith spring up out of and through us – not out of some Pyrenees soil.
Maybe by learning Humility and how to listen and pay full attention to the God Bandwidth that is there in our background ‘noise’ 24/7/365.25 we can avoid our own distractions and dis-ease..
… accept the cure that is always on offer anywhere our hearts are allowed to feel it?
One other thing i think is important to consider…
While anyone who is ill usually asks ‘Why Me’? and wants desperately to be free of the pain or inconvenience or both their illness causes them…
How many of us ever think – The Lord allows me to be this way for a reason? Am i doing what His Will requires while living in this condition? or am i constrained wholly and solely by my own ‘will’ and my focus on the negative – wanting so much to be rid of what i find myself with – a burden – a yoke?
Do we ever consider modifying our lives so as to remove the many things that lead up to the inevitable outcome of our present circumstances?
If we live constantly in a ‘polluted’ environment – a cure for the illness caused by that environment is hardly likely to last very long – if at all.