On-Going Instruction in the Principles of Christianity
2020 Jubilee 2021
YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST - 01/03
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.)
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. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A CHRISTIAN WHO HAS BEEN AT LOURDES TO SPEAK LIKE THAT AGAIN.
And as for the unreality, that does not trouble me. I have no doubt that those who saw the bandages torn from the leper’s limbs and the sound flesh shown beneath, or the once blind man, his eyes now dripping with water of Siloe, looking on Him who made him whole, or heard marvelous talk of “men like trees walking,” and the rest—I have no doubt that ten days later they sat themselves with unseeing eyes, and wondered whether it was indeed they who had witnessed those things. Human nature, like a Leyden jar, cannot hold beyond a fixed quantity; and this human nature, with experience, instincts, education, common talk, public opinion, and all the rest of it, echoing round it; the assumption that miracles do not happen, that laws are laws; in other words, that Deism is the best that can be hoped— well, it is little wonder that the visible contradiction of all this conventionalism finds but little room in the soul.