Matthew Kelly’s reflection of the day for #BestAdventEver is putting our hope not in ourselves, others, or things but putting our hope in Jesus. We are all pilgrims. We are still on a journey and we are not home yet. This might feel like home, but it is not where we are supposed to end up in.
Most of the time, we hope for things to come, to happen. However, when things do not go as we would like, we end up beating ourselves, others, or even God about it. We hope for things to happen for us, for “right now”. Our hopes do not coincide with God’s hopes and dreams for us. Because when both aligns, amazing things start to blossom. We see God’s bigger picture and not just our own. We have to put our hope in God, because only God can satisfy those hopes, dreams, aspirations, and desires.
May we be guided by Your love and unite us with Your desires.
“My child, I am the Lord Who gives strength in the day of trouble. Come to Me when all is not well with you. Your tardiness in turning to prayer is the greatest obstacle to heavenly consolation, for before you pray earnestly to Me you first seek many comforts and take pleasure in outward things. Thus, all things are of little profit to you until you realize that I am the one Who saves those who trust in Me, and that outside of Me there is no worth-while help, or any useful counsel or lasting remedy.” (Thomas à Kempis)
The challenge is not found during the experience of faith–where you are side by side with people who choose to follow Christ with You. The challenge is not when you are at your best or when all your prayers have been answered. It is not when you are in deep realization of the power of God in your life nor when you recognize that living a holy life is the fastest way to Heaven. No, the challenge is the resistance within us. The resistance when we wake up in the morning, when we eat our lunch, when we go back to sleep at night. The resistance is within us; living through our words, thoughts, and actions.
Let faith arise, in spite of what I see Lord, I believe. But help my unbelief, I choose to trust You.
We are called militants for we are still fighting and our battle is not over. It’s easy to lose sight of this battle. If you don’t think that you’re in a battle, there is a
slight possibility that resistance has already won over you. Can we profess ourselves as Holy Warriors of God and yet find ourselves lost in this journey called life? How can we live this life and also strive to be Holy Warriors? Help me to trust You more.
Listen with the ear of the heart.
We have so many voices in our lives that provide directions and instructions. The voices may confuse, motivate, inspire, or discourage us. The voices may come in the beauty that lies within our surroundings or come as loud and as terrifying like thunder and rain. It may come as a whispering smile, or a heaving sigh. It may come like a shock to your already beautiful life. It may come and disturb your perfectly planned goals and desires. Despite the voices that may come, we have to listen and respond to our deep longing to be united with God. Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.
Jesus has now many lovers of the heavenly kingdom but few bearers of His cross.
Living our convictions and professing our faith is not easy. It’s not. No saint had ever said it was an easy journey. No saint had ever proclaimed that suffering is not part of the journey. But God is faithful, we have to believe and pursue God’s dream for us. God is done writing our stories! We need now to open the book and read it. We need to let the inklings of faith and the hunches of desire make us better versions of ourselves. We need to see God as He is, hear Him as He declares, feel and experience Him as He profess. We need to feel God’s glory through the little miracles He put in our lives. Our lives are full of little miracles. When we fall in love with Jesus, we are motivated to suffer and always encounter Him, to meet Him over and over!
Love takes to itself the life of the loved one. The greater the love, the greater the suffering of the soul. The fuller the love, the fuller the knowledge of God. The more ardent the love, the more fervent the prayer. The more perfect the love, the holier the life. (Staretz Silouan)
I pray that this fervour, this zeal, this desire will not depart from us. However, if it does leave us, help us to always turn back and find You. I urge you brothers and sisters to fight the good fight of faith. Stand up for what you believe. We are the generation–the new generation that will bring troubled souls back to Him.
Pray for world. Pray for peace.
I can’t get enough of this country… to the point that I have started researching how I can move here. No matter what the commotion around me everyday there seems to be a sense of peace inside of me–probably because of the blessing of all the churches I enter. They’re all beautiful… I cannot even pick a favorite because honestly I would not know which one to pick. As we went around Madrid today, one thing I started paying attention to, are the people. No matter how many tourists they have probably encountered–no matter if they know the language or not–they seem to have gotten used to it.
It’s amazing! We went on top of a mountain (I think) to visit Guadalupe where the Black Madonna resides, believed to be carved by St. Luke the Evangelist. We got to touch her relic too! (I really think I will be called Blessed Maria soon… haha) When I touched the relic, my heart skipped a bit and suddenly I felt the feeling when I pray in tongues. It’s like the Holy Spirit breathe through me. I’m not being dramatic here… we could not take photos or videos inside but the place itself is beautiful. The feeling is like a breath of fresh air after holding your breath under the water. I can’t think of better anecdotes. Must be the wine. I’m too tired. I miss home, but I also don’t. Now I am just out of it.
Lord help me find peace in my surroundings.
We’ve been moving around so much in the past 5 days–moving from different cities and timezones–that sometimes we forget to take a breather and listen to how God is trying to reach out to us today. Being the youngest in the pack, people I am with tend to tell me things I should not even hear. I shrug it off and enjoy the trip anyway. However, I do understand where they are coming from. I love it and I hate it. I love it because everything is well prepared and done for you. I hate it because I simply don’t even have time to sit at one of the beautiful churches we visit in silence to pray. Even for just 5 min. There’s so much history in these cities… but really there’s so much of God you see in these places as well.
People, artists, architects, painters, etc. who made these are all God-inspired people. God is magnificent indeed.
Help me to focus on You alone.
One of the things I am most thankful for during this trip is the daily mass with Fr. Jan, he is our spiritual director during this trip. He said during his homily today that Jesus always challenges us to look beyond the physical and towards the spiritual. He challenged us to open our faith and to live it like it’s your name. “Show it to the world and do not be afraid.” I can honestly say that it is one of my weakness… showing my faith and living it beyond closed doors… but I am working on it.
As we left behind Fatima (for now), we drove to Salamanca to see this beautiful city (I might even consider going to school here). It holds one of the oldest universities and the architecture is just amazing! I cannot help but feel in awe of this creation! God truly works through amazing people!
I do feel a bit tired, we lost an hour again, so I am 8h off my body clock now. A pilgrimage is not a vacation at all. You learn a lot about the city and also increases your faith through the journey.
Thank You for showing Your magnificence through these amazing art and architecture.
Had a nice 6h sleep.. all good and ready for an exciting day today! I’m the youngest in the group… like way younger (younger people should really consider joining these pilgrimages) to the point that my group treats me like I’m their child or something. They give me snacks, always tells me to stay with the group (I tend to wander off a lot), and since I’m by myself… they always invite me to sit with them. I’m practically in every photo because they invite me to also take pictures with them… not “of” them, but with them! God really is taking care of me, because that is one of my worries–being a loner in the corner.
Today, we drove around Fatima and visited the houses of the three children! It was a humbling experience… one for sure I would remember forever. I don’t know why but when I met Sr. Lucia’s niece… I felt teary-eyed and peaceful. She was so sweet! She even kissed me! I might be the next Blessed Maria… haha!
Today’s experience made me realize how blessed I am. We should always be thankful for experiences because through these experiences we are made to be better.
Thank You for helping me be a better version of myself.
I have been travelling for approximately 18h and counting. As I sat on the plane waiting to land in Lisbon airport, I could not help but say to myself… why is everything not going according to plan?
This is my first time to travel internationally by myself… and I’m kind of, sort of–freaking out. We had a delayed flight to Toronto so they had to reroute us to London instead. In London, I had almost missed my flight to Lisbon (got held up at security because of a yogurt I got on the plane), waited approx 1h and 30 min to get out of customs clearance in Lisbon, prayed really hard and asked for the intercession of St. Anthony, Mama Mary and St. Joseph for my luggage to appear at baggage claim. (I can handle anything but a lost baggage.) Thankfully, it was there waiting for me after an excruciating wait to get a stamp on my passport. Whew!
We got to our Fatima hotel and it’s right beside the Basilica! Oh how lovely! I fell in love with the place! As I sat and celebrated mass at the Basilica, where you can find the tomb of Jacinta and Francisco (isn’t that so cool?), I prayed and let go of all my troubles and worries and frustration. I told the Lord to help me be closer to Him during this trip no matter what happens next.
I can feel Your presence around me. Help me be more like You.