Experiences During Summer

Thank God, we are back from summer holidays.

It was a time that we need so much and for which we longed.
They were really holy days!
A time of recreation. A time that, if we have used it well, should have created us anew!

For a person of God, holidays and time of recreation, never mean a time off from God, a break from Him.
He who is in love, after working hard for his beloved, for their well-being, and for their family and children, longs so much to be alone with his beloved. He longs to express what is so rooted in his heart: his beloved is more important than all his work for her!

Therefore, for the person of God, holidays are special moment of grace. They are moment of greater intimacy that charges his heart for a renewed zeal, enthusiasm, energy, and dedication to take up work again for her, for their relationship and for their family.

God always speaks to His Bride, to those for whom He is important in their lives. He always speaks to us, but He speaks to us in a special way during time of prayer, during some retreat, or during holidays and time of recreation or relaxation.
Not that He speaks more; but during such moments, we are supposed to be less distracted, more attentive and receptive.

Would you like to share with the visitors of this Blog your experience of these summer holidays, what the Lord has told you or taught you? Please feel free to do it and may God bless you for this new social year.

2 Responses to “Experiences During Summer”

  1. Fr Paul Fenech says:

    Just before I started my holidays, I had to preach for the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady at one of our parishes. I planned to start the first of three meditations on what I thought to be the great relevance of this Feast for us and for all humanity at the beginning of the third millennium. I was not aware how and where the Holy Spirit was guiding and leading me.

    It is part of our Catholic believe that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was taken into heaven in body and soul. In fact, we do not speak of Mary’s death, she did not experience death and its decay, thanks to redemptive sacrifice of Her Son Jesus. Our Orthodox brethren speak of the dormition, or the “sleep”, of Mary. So, what is unique in this mystery is the fact that Mary’s soul at no instance did it separate the body, as in the case of the death of all human beings, including the most holy ones amongst us. Mary, Our Mother, is the greatest assurance of what we hope for at the end of times, because we too are redeemed by Christ. We, our whole being is redeemed by Christ: our body together with our soul.

    Every separation is a sign and effect of sin. Death itself, that separates in such a violent and aggressive way our body from our soul, entered human experience because of sin. Our souls long for such ambitious values and true lofty meaning. Yet, we treat our bodies, not to say the body of others, with evermore increasing irreverence.

    So, to return to my personal experience – and not repeat my homely -, I started the first meditation by giving an illustration taken from current news. I referred to what was intended to be a National Conference in Philadelphia at the end of last July, but which turned out to be quite international, with overbooking from weeks before the Conference and with the wise decision of the organizers to stream the event so that many people from around the globe could follow it. And guess what was the subject… the Theology of the Body! As I was wondering and praying how best to transmit my message, I came across this striking news! The interest that the subject of this Conference drew in so many people, sort of confirmed to me how relevant is this aspect of the Feast of the Assumption of Mary for us today.

    Immediately after my preaching has finished (and humbly speaking, receiving an unusual appreciation), I started to research more on the subject on the internet. I really felt humiliated at the fact that what these people were really talking about was the teaching of Pope John Paul II, which he delivered in His audiences between September 1979 and November 1984! And I, who have been trying to respond to His call for new evangelization almost since He made it, was discovering this important teaching 26 years later!

    Just before going for holiday, I came across a set of conferences by an American preacher; I downloaded them. transferred them on my mp3, and left with a great thirst to listen to them during my traveling on the plane or on the coach. I managed to hear them all and came back to share them freely (as they were offered to me freely!) especially with the members of our Community.

    Now I hope to read and to study the 129 speech of the Pope, because I really feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me personally and wants to say something through me to those He is calling me to minister.

  2. Fr Paul Fenech says:

    This year, God provided me with a beautiful holiday in the High Tatras of Slovakia. For the past six years we have been going to the Low Tatras on the other side, in the nice village of Zakopane, in Poland. This time we decided to go higher. The village where we were staying, Stola, was already 100 meters higher. Our purpose was to relax, to walk in the mountains and the National Park of Slovenski Raj (or the Paradise of Slovakia).

    In the past years, we took some excursions from Zakopane to various places of interest in Slovakia. And we remembered that on one occasion, our tour leader showed us a hill from a village square where the Slovak people had built a Shrine to Our Lady. So we sought to search for it. We could not remember any name of the village or the Shrine and it was very difficult for us to ask people who generally do not know any English and us not having an idea of Slovak. However, a Polish friend of ours told us that once she was taken to a Marian Shrine near the city of Stara Lubovna. So, one day we went there. We met a couple who thought they knew English and when we told them what we are searching for, they were so generous to offer us to lead us there by following their car. Instead, they led us to the beautiful Castle outside the city. Since we intended visiting the Castle, we thanked them just the same. But somehow, they must have realized that it was not what we asked for, because the returned to us and the man told us that his wife drew his attention that we might be looking for a Marian Shrine. So, they indicated a place, some 10 kilometers north from there. After we visited the Castle and had lunch, we took the road to Litmanova. We crossed the village, and someone told us to keep following the road to the mountain Zvir. This brought us to a little mountain chapel with a beautiful icon of Our Lady. We were very disappointed, because something told us that there should be more to it. However, it was raining and there were some thunders. So, we decided to say three Hail Marys in front of the Icon and start our way back home, some 1.5 hours drive. Yet, we were inspired to proceed a little further, may be some more meters. We drove some few more minutes and met a couple of people, one of whom was a nun just returning from the mountain peak and going to their car. We asked the nun, she did not know any English, but she understood what we were searching for and told us to drive along the road that takes higher. We did so and to our surprise we came to a beautiful place of prayer.

    Apart from a big presbytery to the open air, in front of which there is a nice and natural amphitheater to host a big congregation, with golden Icons of Jesus Christ, the Mother of God, St Joseph, St Peter and St Paul and St Nicholas, surrounding the main Icon of the Immaculate Conception…. who can imagine to find a Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, right there on the mountain, filled with people praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. There was no way for us to come to know the history of that place of prayer: all the holy images and books in the book stall were in Slovak and what seemed for us Russian, and nobody we asked knew English. It was around 3.30p.m. when we arrived and we noticed that some celebration had just ended. In fact, we found out that there is Mass celebrated there every day at 2.00p.m. Many people were devoutly filling bottles with water from a nearby spring, having the form of a big baptistery. We were moved. We could not but stop and pray. First we stayed for a rather long time in the Chapel of Adoration. Then we prayed the Rosary in the open Choir, in front of the Icons, especially that of the Immaculate Conception. We offered the Rosary to one of our benefactors, as one of our Collaborators had just sent me an SMS about his health problems, and to the new evangelization of Slovakia. In fact, we prayed the five Mysteries of Evangelization.

    I believe Our Lady has immediately showed us that She is taking our prayers seriously. Just in our last days, we met two persons whom we felt entering our hearts in a special way, as this country had done already before (in fact, I have never heard anything about the new evangelization in this country). These are a young lady who used to serve us at a restaurant we frequented, Gabby, a university student, where she is reading English to become an interpreter; and Mario, a police man who helped us on two occasions and who shared with us his love for the liturgy and how he is studying orthodox and protestant theology, and his desire to learn even catholic theology, because he would like to serve God in the priesthood!

    Maybe, God is preparing us to use us in the evangelization of Slovakia. The Bomb teaches us that new evangelization starts with the specific prayer of intercession. Let us add this intention to our daily prayers and sacrifices, and wait upon the Lord.

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