Lourdes, by Tommy Humphries
We managed to pack a Brazilian, an American, a Croatian, and a Canadian into a French car and still have room to play the guitar. I suppose part of this is due to the fact that Damir cannot make up his mind whether he's a Croatian or a Canadian, so he claims both. We had beautifully clear skies for our petite voyage from Toulouse to Lourdes.
The problem with beautifully clear July skies in Southern France is that there's nothing to hide you from the sun. Nevertheless, God blessed us with Air Conditioning en route to the Catholic Disneyland of Lourdes. It is possible to find every single kind of souvenir that might possibly relate to the Church (and quite a few that have absolutely nothing to do with the Church) in Lourdes...with the one exception of the hula-girl Mary with the sticky bottom designed for attaching her to the dashboard of your '73 pickup truck. I'm not sure why they decided to exclude the hula-Mary from the fine array of "goods" that can be purchased in Lourdes, but there's really no understanding the French...only loving them.
When we arrived in Lourdes we attempted to follow the signs and the map to our reserved rooms, but, there's really no understanding the French maps and road signs...only loving them. Thus, by the time we checked into the hostel and ate, Damir had some "pressing needs." As the French say, "he had a cigar on the lips" (only, they usually say it in French, and not English).
Still, we finished in time for the procession of lights, which is a marvellous daily devotion in Lourdes that has an almost magic feel. People from all over the world make special plans to travel to Lourdes to seek healing from their Faith and the Faith of the Church. This procession around the Basilica separates the Disneyland/ market city from the city of Faith, a distinction of which St. Augustine would be proud. (St. Augustine wrote a book entitled "The City of God...and the City of Man," which he called "my long and arduous work" (only, he wrote it in Latin and not English).) There is no real understanding of the faith here...only loving it.