Sorry I was MIA for a time. I was in Italy walking the streets of famous saints. I gained such a new appreciation for the rich tradition of our Catholic faith. Everywhere I went there were beautiful Churches and shrines dedicated to our God and the saints who faithfully trusted and loved him. I couldn't help but see how lucky we are to have places that we can go to, see, smell, and touch things and tombs that are holy. I felt like a little child every time I entered a church. I wanted to touch everything: the tombs of St. Clare and St. Francis, the altars where Mass has been celebrated throughout the centuries, a chair that a pope sat in, the holy water in all the major basilicas of Rome, the stones that saints have walked on and even the tombs of unknown saints. I felt like I was walking with the saints. It was such a beautiful and concrete experience of our faith throughout the centuries.
Anyway, this week we have been leading up to Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit will come down upon the Apostles and Mary, and strengthen them with his gifts, enabling them to be "witnesses to the ends of the earth" Acts 1. This week the daily Gospel readings have been from St. John highlighting Jesus' prayer for unity: "that they may be one just as we are [Jesus and the Father]" John 17:11. This is such an important prayer especially in today's world where so many things divide us, even among Christians. This is such a beautiful time the Church gives us to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, receiving his gifts, and reaching out with Charity to foster unity instead of division. The Holy Spirit will be given to you to they extent that you invite him into your heart. Pray especially in these remaining days before Pentecost that the Holy Spirit will flow into you, making you a dwelling place of God and a well of his charity, that you might be his instruments of unity. God Bless and have a very holy Pentecost! (one of my favorite church feast days :))