Lourdes, France.

A Church dedicated to the Divine Mother. I love it! Lourdes has the most incredible setting, in the foothills of the amazing Pyrenees in the South of France. This is the area where it is believed that Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene came after Jesus’s crucifixion.

Lourdes is renowned as a sacred place of miraculous healing, where people come to pray, meditate, show devotion and drink the holy water. Exploring different parts of the large complex I am struck by how similar many of the Christian practices are to the Hindu practices I have experienced in India. Outside the grotto there are about 100 candles burning, bringing the element of fire into the Earth of the cave, and the water that is a naturally occurring spring inside the grotto. All the elements are represented, just as in fire puja in India. There are nuns and priests wearing special uniforms, just as the priests and nuns do in India. People are showing their devotion and reverence for Mother Mary by bowing, touching their heart, praying, people bring gifts (offerings) and donate to the church … just as in India. So many similarities that transcend religious differences.

I have been to many churches that are energetically dead, there is no spirit in them, they are flat. Not here. Here in Lourdes there is living spirit. Devout Catholics from all over the world are here in reverence for the Divine Mother in the form of Mother Mary, and that builds the energy that is naturally present. What a blessing to be here for the next seven days!