“This is your cross, and I am not going to take it away from you. I will be with you, and I will help you, but it is yours to carry.”
Christy Wilkens heard Jesus speak those words after she prayed for her son Oscar’s healing in her parish adoration chapel one bright September day. Almost a year later she would find herself in Lourdes, France, seeking a miracle.
The grotto at Lourdes is known as a place of healing. But sometimes the miracle that occurs is not physical, but something much deeper. Wilkens made the long trek to Lourdes with her husband, Todd, and their toddler—who is plagued by mysterious seizures—through a program with the Order of Malta. In Awakening at Lourdes, Wilkens shares that while Oscar’s condition did improve after their visit, the real healing took place between she and her husband. Through their time at Lourdes, they discovered a deeper love for each other, a renewed sense of appreciation for their faith community, and an abiding confidence in God’s mercy.
Persuaded by her husband to take the trip, Wilkens summoned her faith– faith in God, faith in her husband, and faith in the doctors and other helpers who surrounded them every step of the way—to embark on the journey of a lifetime. Recording their experiences with deeply personal yet highly relatable language, Wilkens offers a firsthand account of the traditions and culture of the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes and the shrine’s special servers, the Order of Malta. She also captures her own doubts, questions, and fears as she attempted to process the family’s physical and emotional journey.
The Wilkens family’s story will help you learn to be open to what God has in store for you and to see that if you surrender control, open yourself to God’s grace, and lean on your community, you are never alone.
The book includes a study guide for individual or group use.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Imprint: Ave Maria Press
“Your brokenness may very well turn out to be your greatest blessing.”
“You will recognize your own story in these pages. And you will walk away knowing, on a soul level, one of the most essential truths any of us could ever hope to understand: your brokenness is not just something to be endured; it may very well turn out to be your greatest blessing.”
From the foreword by Jennifer Fulwiler
“The very word 'Lourdes' speaks of healing, love, and consolation. Our Mother, Mary, and her son, Jesus, are so evident there. To savor these tender reflections by another mom, Christy Wilkens, only enhances the power of that word 'Lourdes'!”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Archbishop of New York and conventual chaplain ad honorem of the Order of Malta
“Full of heart, raw honesty, and touches of humor.”
“Wilkens's writing is luminous—full of heart, raw honesty, and touches of humor and both intensely personal and universal in its insights. Her reflections on the many varieties of healing bring the gift of Lourdes to everyone who reads her words.”
Author of Holy Rover and Near the Exit
“Asks us to question everything we thought we knew of healing.”
“Christy Wilkens asks us to question everything we thought we knew of healing. This book gracefully challenges our assumptions about what makes a miracle and extends an invitation to find God, not outside of our present reality but right here in the middle of it.”
Shannon K. Evans
Author of Embracing Weakness
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