When you enter the town of Lourdes you are entering a wholly Catholic world.
Priests and religious are everywhere and just about every person on the streets is a pilgrim.
Of course, the visibly sick and infirm are much in evidence but all of us who are here, I suspect, would lay claim to being sick and infirm, if not physically or mentally, then certainly, spiritually.
This was certainly true of the troop of men and women who gathered at 8am this morning to wait patiently for the baths to open at 9am.
We shivered as we sat on our hard benches and some looked apprehensive, some uncertain and some just plain scared.
The experience must be a pale shadow of the final judgement; we wait, we pray, we suffer from poor nerves until, the moment comes when we lose our worldly possessions, our clothes and our dignity and stand before Almighty God in much the same way as when we entered into this world.
The waters of the Gave (assuming that there must be some sharing of the spa waters with that of the river) flow into the River Jordan and we are healed by the hand of Our Lord responding to the request of his mother.
Lourdes is a complete and utter defeat for those who support murder in the womb and the killing of the sick and elderly.
Here you are surrounded by many who, if the state and the feminists had their way, would not be with us today.
The most moving sight of our pilgrimage so far was a line of 8 to 10 year olds, each pulling an invalid carriage containing a sick child of a similar age.
The faces of the petit brancardiers were lit up with their sense of purpose and the poor, sick children obviously took great courage from their friends.
Of course, we are all bound together; German, French, Bolivian, Austrian, American, English and all other nationalities under the Lourdes sun.
And the main common denominator, after our shared Faith, is when a Latin prayer is said or hymn sung.
Then we become as one, loud and confident and, yes, even, inclusive!
Tomorrow, we hope to repeat the experience.