On-Going Instruction in the Principles of Christianity
2020 Jubilee 2021
YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST - 12/27
ON ACCOUNT OF THE PANDEMIC
CARDINAL SEAN HAS EXTENDED
THE JUBILEE YEAR TO JUNE 2022
MIRACLES OF LOURDES AND THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
(Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson, an Anglican convert to Catholicism, made a pilgrimage to Lourdes on its 50th Jubilee Year, 1908. Here he describes watching the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament moving along the lines of very sick people and the miracles which occurred on that day.)
Of course “scientific” arguments, of the sort which I have related, can be brought forward in an attempt to explain Lourdes; but they are the same arguments that can be, and are, brought forward against the miracles of Jesus Christ Himself. I say nothing to those here; I leave that to scientists such as Dr. Boissarie; but what I cannot understand is that professing Christians are able to bring a priori arguments against the fact that Our Lord is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever—the same in Galilee and in France. “These signs shall follow them that believe,” He said Himself; and the history of the Catholic Church is an exact fulfilment of the words. It was so, St. Augustine tells us, at the tombs of the martyrs; five hundred miracles were reported at Canterbury within a few years o St. Thomas’ martyrdom. And now here in Lourdes, as it has been for fifty years, in this little corner of poor France!
… This, then, is the supreme fact of Lourdes: that Jesus Christ in His Sacrament passes along that open square, with the sick laid in beds on either side; and that at His word the lame walk and lepers are cleansed and deaf hear—that they are seen leaping and dancing for joy.
Even now, writing within ten days of my return, all seems like a dream; and yet I know that I saw it. For over thirty years I had been accustomed to repeat the silly formula that “the age of miracles is past”; that they were necessary for the establishment of Christianity, but that they are no longer necessary now, except on extremely rare occasions perhaps; and in my heart I knew my foolishness. Why, for those thirty years Lourdes had been in existence! And if I spoke of it at all, I spoke only of hysteria and autosuggestion and French imaginativeness, and the rest of the nonsense ...