It is not the easiest thing in the world to tell people (let alone yourself!) that you've had an apparition! Any kind of appearance that is totally unexpected and indeed quite improbable can make us wonder if our own senses deceive us. Yet on this day we remember a young woman who had a remarkable experience when she encountered a bit of heaven while out gathering wood with her sisters just outside of Lourdes, France.

Our Lady of Lourdes, painted carved wood by Jim LauritsenBernadette's openness to hanging in there with how God was choosing to communicate to her and to others is a good reminder to us -- God is always in our midst and sometimes reveals Godself in unexpected ways and in ways that are unique to our relationship with God.

Sometimes we brush off these "appearances" as our imagination working overtime or we decide that God couldn't possible want to connect with us that personally. This is where prayer and spending a little time discerning can be of great benefit. We might then be able to see more clearly and receive more openly what God is revealing to us albeit in unexpected ways!

While we may not all have epic experiences like Bernadette where we there is an enduring message for generations, each of our encounters with God -- when we are conscious of God's presence already with us -- is indeed epic! Take time this day to be open to however God choose to be present to you and to the family or community in which you live.