Last week the Vatican started its first airline servie to various shrines in Europe. The inaugural flight to Lourdes with 148 pilgrims went smoothly till the return journey. Of course all the pilgrims had loaded up with large bottles of holy Lourdes water, some of it for sick relatives at home.
Most of the bottles were so large they contravened French security laws and were confiscated.
This somewhat humorous incident raises a more serious question. Why have so many Catholic practises and sacramentals fallen by the wayside? Not only the pious use of holy water but the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, fasting, private confession, novenas and the Forty Hours devotion to name a few.
Does the fall-off in these devotions mean Catholics are concentrating more on the essentials of their faith?