Gratitude journal
Three good things

Jun 9, 2023 | Gratitude

Committing to Lourdes

This was my fifth Stage, and I decided to commit to serving in the Sanctuary every year. This is not an easy commitment to make and involves more than just a week in Lourdes. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to commit to Lourdes, even if my commitment is fifty years late.

As Hospitaliers, we are asked to abide by the spirit of Lourdes, not just whilst at Lourdes but throughout the year, wherever we may be. The full commitment, which we say to the President of the HNDL in front of the congregation, is:

I, Jeremy, commit to humbly fulfilling whatever service is required of me by those in charge of the Hospitalité.

I commit to being attentive to the needs of all in need in my home environment as I do here in Lourdes.

I commit to furthering my formation in the message of Lourdes and to fully completing my service.

I commit to coming regularly to Lourdes, where circumstances permit, to welcome and serve all pilgrims, but first and foremost, sick pilgrims.

l entrust myself to the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes,to help me lead an exemplary Christian life, through the love of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

In preparation, I and the five others making their commitment simultaneously (three British and three Italians) were asked to spend four days serving in the Grotto. These were long days, starting at around 7.30 am and finishing around 6 pm. We were on our feet the whole time, helping with the services, usually, four masses in different languages in the morning followed by four or five rosaries in the afternoon, again in different languages. Except for during mass, a constant stream of visitors processed through the Grotto, and one of our tasks was to keep the worshipers moving, prevent them from stopping too long and holding up the waiting queues and ensure they took photos away from the visitors.

As part of our final Formation, we were asked by our Formation Responsable, a wonderful and jolly, holy Italian, why we were here. I told the story of coming to Lourdes for the first time in 1973. However, the phone must have been engaged, or the line busy, because I missed that call and spent the next 30 years immersed in greed and fear. I responded only when I got the second call in 2014. Indeed, this is why I and so many others go to Lourdes: because we are called.

The service of commitment took place at the usual Hospitalier mass on Wednesday evening. It was a privilege to read the lesson at this mass and then to make my commitment to the President of the HNDL in front of around a hundred Hospitaliers in Lourdes that week.

Afterwards, we were congratulated by everyone and then went to the Hospitalier common room for a toast and celebratory drink.

A Gratitude Journal is just a simple way of
recording and appreciating the good things in life.

Research shows that keeping a gratitude journal leads to
higher levels of alertness, happiness and positive emotions as well as
a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure and better sleep.

See more entries at https://wordsnotdeeds.co.uk/category/personal/gratitude/

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