Thursday, September 8, 2011

Transformed by Love - Our Testimonies, Part 3

Noelle Curry

Last year, on Tuesdays, I started praying the Rosary while reflecting on the image of the Sacred Heart at the Newman Center. I grew up with the same picture of the Sacred Heart in my home, and it always scared me. I decided that I would sit there until it didn’t scare me anymore. As I reflected on the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I would pray that I too could understand more and become a part of the Heart of hearts. One Wednesday in Adoration, I was prayed over, and as I held this desire in my heart, I fell to my knees and knew God was moving in me. In all of this I didn’t know what I was really asking or still quite fully understand, but I believe it all to be God’s desire.
We prepared for the pilgrimage with St. Louis de Montfort’s 33 day preparation for the Consecration to Jesus through Our Lady. In Lourdes, France we met Our Mother in the grotto and consecrated ourselves to her on August 15. I now have more understanding that everything I have is no longer mine and that is such a relief. In Madrid, our holy father, Pope Benedicto, consecrated us to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on August 20. It really happened! And Pope Benedict did not just bless us but he sent his love and blessings to our families and friends. Then we went on to the Holy Family Basilica where God brought us together as a family. Then again we went to see Mama Mary at the Miraculous Medal, then onto the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and then to the home of St. Therese where Our Lady of the Smile smiled upon us and all of those in our life. To Jesus, through Our Mother, to let His love be shown unto our family, the world.
One of the messages I received on WYD was very simple: Jesus says, “Come just as you are.” His invitation is open to all of us no matter how broken we are or how much we don’t believe in Him. This is just the beginning. From here God’s graces will continue to unravel and there will be more climbs. Oh man! Praise the Lord!

Ali Lundstrum

Firstly, to prepare for pick-pocketing I put miraculous medals in my pockets in the hope that our Blessed Mothers love would move their hearts to conversion! The most powerful moment(s) was the 3 times I was dipped into the waters at Lourdes (and seeing Pope Benedict!!!) It was profoundly peaceful, I felt very close to Mother Mary in those moments – as if I was resting in her Immaculate Heart! The second time I went in the baths, Sister Faustina and I were walking past and saw the line was really short (hour wait instead of 3 hour wait), so we rushed to get in line and she started calling the other Sisters on her radio and I sent my guardian angel (Demetrius) to get the other pilgrims - Padre Pio would totally approve. Then about 20 minutes later Kristi comes walking by, and she gets in line with us. When I told her I sent Demetrius to get her and asked her what made her walk past the baths, she laughed and said that she wasn’t going anywhere specific: she actually was asking her guardian angel (Joy), “Where are we going?!”

The most beautiful part about the trip was the transformation the Blessed Mother made to my heart. Ever since I made the consecration to Mary, she has been giving me her heart in little ways – I’ve noticed my desires becoming more beautiful: desiring Mass, adoration, the rosary, self-denial for the conversion of sinners, and the blossoming of her virtues in my life. And when I was prayed over by Dana before NK42, she had an image of the Blessed Mother giving me her heart for mine (and I was so happy because the Blessed Mother loves Jesus with all her strength and that’s all I want to do!) Also, ever since Mother Adela encouraged me at the charismatic conference to ask for the Blessed Mothers heart, I knew Mary would do something powerful at Lourdes – and she did! She truly is the Mother of Mercy!!!