Spiritual Benefits

I fail to understand the logic of the biased headline "Religion is Big Business at the Shrine of Lourdes" (Dec. 3), based on the article by Phillippe Naughton. I had the privilege of visiting Lourdes twice, spending up to 12 hours a day in prayer and public devotions--even forgoing lunch in order to treasure each spiritual moment.

Pilgrims visiting Lourdes are there for the spiritual benefits. In the religious domain of Lourdes, one may obtain blessed candles and mass offerings can be made. Neither is obligatory and there are no collections. The church has nothing to do with the commercial aspects outside the grotto grounds.


Honolulu, Hawaii

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