Monday, February 11, 2019
Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
After giving the thirty-day retreat to priests, a Brother and a Benedictine Sister in Spain at Manresa, where the cave is that Ignatius of Loyola wrote the Spiritual Exercises, I went with the group on a bus through the mountains to Lourdes. It was the eve of Pentecost's Mass that most impressed me. We had people from all over the world there and the candlelight procession before the Mass was something that stays with me. I did not like the commercial part that is just outside the grotto, but Lourdes is impressive and the number of cures shows us how Mary intercedes to help those who come as pilgrims. I am glad I had this experience before returning to teach a semester in the Normal School in Peru. That was another great experience as I had the graduating class for conversation and composition and they had no set syllabus nor even a textbook. I would put a maxim of St. Madeleine Sophie in English on the blackboard each morning and they all copied it and said that they would be doing the same wherever they were sent to teach by the government. Then they would write about whatever they thought I should know about Peru, its history, culture, and the educational methods. I learned so much from my students and I hope their English improved after we had lively conversation about different topics.