Yesterday was just beautiful by the way! Our bus to the Sorrowful Mother Shrine left at 7:30 am. There were 30 of us in all, I think. We prayed a rosary together as we traveled. But mostly the bus ride was a chance for my friend and I to catch up. We were neighbors and very close friends up until we moved 3 years ago. But somehow the few blocks distance seems more like miles without the convenience of a clothesline to stay connected in the backyard.
Anyhow, upon arriving at the shrine, we had an outdoor mass together. Afterwards, lunch, followed by the Way of the Cross which led us through the scenic woods, a rosary, confession, and Exposition and Benediction. This year we had the privelige of a special blessing in which the priest there placed a relic of the True Cross on our foreheads and prayed over us. I could just feel the graces pouring in. The stress of daily life was lifted from my shoulders in just a few short hours. God is good, and I am so grateful for His gift of the Blessed Mother as a perfect example for imitation and devotion.
So if you're contemplating a massage to rid yourself of some stress, go for the graces instead!