Monday, August 29, 2011

Pilgrimage 2011 Part II: The Breaking Point

Where was I? Ah yes: 2 rosaries back-to-back can be uncomfortable, if you aren't used to it. But after my spasm upon realization that we WERE saying a second rosary before mass, I squeezed out a "Thank you God, for this second rosary. I want this." And I prayed the Sorrowful mysteries, albeit a bit distracted, along with the 60,000 other faithful in Medugorje.

Makani had told us that the first week or so would be particularly tricky. He warned us that our words of "I want this, God" would not be matching what our hearts really felt. But he told us to persevere. And I didn't always have a rebellion towards my was a bit of a rollercoaster.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pilgrimage 2011 Part I: The Beginning of the End

Before I left for Europe, I wrote a blog entitled "Whatever Happens, Happens", concerning a hermit named Makani Marquis, and his talk to Vancouver pilgrims about the omnipotence and omniscience of God. If God is God, then He is the most powerful being in the universe, and anything that happens to us happens because He either directly or permissively wills it. And if we truly get into a state of accepting what God places before us and want it, then we will find an immense sense of peace. I wanted to take all of that to heart on my pilgrimage this summer. I wanted this to be a true pilgrimage; an offering of myself to God, and in that way, constantly praying to Him.

Makani also said that we need to make ourselves open to that peaceful acceptance. And so I listened to him wholeheartedly! I brought a camera to take some pictures, but I left my cellphone, my iPod, and my laptop at home. I didn't even bring a watch. And so there I was, getting on the plane, with no creature comforts. It felt very weird for the first few days. I kept freaking out because I would feel my pocket expecting a Nokia, but it would be empty. I would want to listen to music on my iPod, but instead had to talk constantly to people, really take in the surroundings, or - God forbid - pray.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pilgrimage 2011: A Mini-series (Introduction)

I landed in Vancouver just 3 days ago, after having spent 4 weeks in Europe on pilgrimage. I went to Vienna to catch up with old friends. I travelled by bus (13 hours) to Medugorje, Bosnia, for the yearly youth festival. And as the climax of the pilgrimage, I travelled to Valencia, Spain for Days in the Diocese, and then to Madrid, Spain for World youth Day 2011.