There is a custom that is applied to all pilgrim who come to Lourdes, as Bernadette used to act after the Virgin Mary asked her to do so.
These comes from the slip that I had from the Lourdes bath
“COME TO THE SPRING , DRINK AND WASH YOURSELF THERE”
YOU come to the bath at LOURDES to bathe in the water of the Spring that lay under the earth on the left hand side of the ROCK as you face the Grotto, the Spring Mary made known to Bernadette
It was on the 25th of February 1858, during the 9th Apparition, that Bernadette heard the Lady say: ” Would you mind going down on your knees…kissing the ground…eating the grass that is there… FOR SINNERS? – GO DRINK AT THE SPRING AND WASH YOURSELF THERE”
Bernadette carried out these actions but with difficulties. For the ground was dirty, the grass bitter and the water repugnant. The onlookers who, up to that day, had been enthusiastic, were now shocked, scandalized and disgusted. Bernadette was slapped, insulted and led before the Public Prosecutor…
On this dramatic day, which reminds us of Good Friday, Bernadette calmly explained that she had done all these things FOR SINNERS
And from that day onwards, a prayer full of serious concern and compassion characterized her life. She had discovered this world of “the poor sinner, our brother, whom the Blessed Virgin had pointed to saying” PENANCE, PRAY FOR THE CONVERSION OF SINNERS”
Mary had been so sad that day that Bernadette wept.
The Gospel of the Mass on that particular day carried the story of Jesus crucified, pierced by the soldier’s lance and from whom flowed “BLOOD and WATER”
Hence, it is here in this perspective that we are given the deeper meaning of the symbolism of the LOURDES WATER
a. Water as a sign of the LOVE of Christ who gives his life “for sinners”
b. Water as a sign of Baptism that has given us life as the children of GOD
c. Water as a sign of Sacrament of Penance, in which GOD offers us forgiveness, purification, Reconciliation
It is because of our need to be reborn, forgiven, purified, reconciled.. that we come to this WATER. We come in memory of what Jesus said
“IF ANYONE IS THIRSTY LET HIM COME TO ME AND DRINK”
The water, that I shall give you will become a spring welling up to external life.
In there words, Jesus pointed to the Spirit that those who believed in Him would receive (Gospel of John , chapter 4 and 7)
Let us reflect on this in prayer
In calmness, with faith, humility, charity and trust. Then we will grasp the deeper meaning of the water and will have no need to attribute other powers to it.
God gives HIS grace freely, out of love. Do not think that performing a great number of religious acts gives us rights over GOD. He freely offers us peace of heart, and if He judges it to be good for us, the easing of our sufferings.
Let us think of others, the seriously ill. If we find the waiting too long then let us washed her face (the mirror of the soul) and drank
The deep meaning of the water of Lourdes is inscribed above the place where the taps are located
“Wash your face and ask GOD to purify your heart”
GOD our father
It is through Mary, the most pure Virgin
that your SON has come to us
the source of LIving Water
Help us to answer HIS call
in coming to purify ourselves
at the Source of grace pouring from his heart
and of which this water is a sign and reminder
so that there may live in us the new creature
that we became in Baptism
The act of drinking and washing with the water of the Grotto, should be accompanied by the Way of Cross, Confession and Communion
At the Lourdes, usually we did several things such as celebrating the candle procession. In these procession, we usually feel a very tight relations one to another, we sang AVE MARIA and pray HAIL MARY in all languages, even in Indonesian.
People walk around the garden from the side of the basilica… and go back to the Basilica of Rosary , reciting rosary and Ave Maria. The atmosphere is full of pray and joy.
on the earlier , you can attend the Adoration At Saint Paul.
..To do the way of cross , we could feel how big HIS love to us…
..and..do the Eucharist sacrament …