Her name was Ruth. Walking into her home was like entering a hobbit-world. She was short in stature and her ceilings were low. She served tea with cookies and had a way of making anyone feel at home. She was a good good Presbyterian who was worshiping at our local United Methodist Church. She had a complicated physical ailment which she explained to me but which I never understood. And she claimed she had been healed. Ruth had made a pilgrimage to Lourdes, and something wonderful happened to her there.
She has passed on now; but many years on February 11 – the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes – I think of Ruth. The good Presbyterian, faithful United Methodist, with a strong reverence for things Roman Catholic. Ruth ‘kept it real’. She had love in her heart for Bernadette Soubirous. She expressed wonder for what happened at Lourdes. Her eyes and heart were on Jesus.
If you get the chance and are so inclined, Franz Werfel’s classic book The Song of Bernadette is well worth the read.
Have a blessed Tuesday.
New York Times 1943 Review of the Academy Award winning movie: The Song of Bernadette