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Lourdes

04/11/2010

After watching Lourdes with some of the other seekers, a few questions seem to arise. The film centres around the character of Christine, a young woman crippled by multiple sclerosis as she and the rest of her tour group (an eclectic mix of pilgrims of all shapes and sizes) make the pilgrimage to the infamous site of St. Bernadette's visions of Mary in Lourdes.

 

For me, her inevitable miraculous cure raises questions. Firstly why her? She wasn't the most dedicated in the group or the most selfless, the most pious or the most faithful, yet God chose her.

 

Secondly, why there?

 

Jesus, Mary and the Holy Spirit were sitting on a cloud discussing potential holiday destinations. "What about Bethlehem?" asked the Holy Spirit. "Been there, done that", said Jesus. "Why not Jerusalem?" "Not again", replied the Holy Spirit. "How about Lourdes?" "Brilliant!" said Mary. "I've never been there before!"

 

Although a rather tasteless joke, its place in the film does reinforce my question. The character Christine is a regular on such organised tours therefore what made God choose Lourdes as the destination for her transformation? Why is it people have more of a chance of being healed there than in their sitting room back home? Is it the faith of the other pilgrims due which makes it a place of healing or do the holy waters really make miracles?

 

Although rather clinical and cynical, the film did leave me positive. God is in control and he is all good. It demonstrates that we aren't blessed because we love God but because God loves us.  Maybe the other characters didn't show such physical transformations but they were all able to go on a journey with him, a journey which doesn't end because they return home.

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