Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Chance Meeting in the Holy Land

View of Jerusalem from Mount Scopes
I never really considered going to the Holy Land. It was always a far away place that I figured I would make it to sometime - maybe.

Before my conversion I did not consider going because it just was not the place to travel if you do not have sufficient motivation. And after my conversion, it just seemed like too much, like something that I should put off as much as possible in much the same way that early Christians put off their baptism until their death bed. It was just not something that I felt I was ready for or deserved.

But thankfully, despite my misgivings and doubts, I made it to the Holy Land. This summer, during my vacation home, I went with my parents and my parish to a land that St. Jerome calls the "Fourth Gospel."

I had many adventures on my trip and learned so much during this life-changing journey. I am sharing my experiences on my blog, if you are interested in learning more about the places that I visited and the teachings that Tim Gray, our tour guide gave, (I cannot speak more highly of Tim, he was so amazing). So far, I have written about Capernaum, The Sea of Galilee, Gethsemane, and several other places. You can visit my blog and check out my posts for June and July for all of the places I have blogged about.

But I wanted to share specifically with the readers of this blog about a particular surprise on the trip. When I was at Ein Karem, the place of the Visitation, I walked up the stairs of the church with my group and noticed a group of sisters with Italian flags. It crossed my mind that I may see some Daughters of St. Paul but I thought it would be unlikely.

As my group prepared to leave, I noticed a sister with a habit that looked like the Daughters of St. Paul's habit. I crept closer and noticed that the sister was wearing the emblem of the Daughters of St. Paul, seen below.

I immediately got the attention of the sister and told her that I was a postulant with the Daughters of St. Paul in the United States. The sister, Sr. Auxiliadora, was so thrilled to meet me. She immediately rushed over to two other sisters from Pakistan and the Philippines and introduced me to them.

She held my hands in excitement and told me that it was very special that we met at Ein Karen, the place of the Visitation because our founder, James Alberione, always told us that we are like Mary bringing Jesus to Elizabeth, because the Daughters of St. Paul travel to bring Jesus to the world.

As I walked away with my group after taking some picture with the sisters and my parents, I was in utter disbelief that I would have happened to see the sisters so far from home. I knew in my heart that it was a gift from God, a wave from heaven, letting me know that He was blessing this trip and would continue to bless me through the Daughters of St. Paul.

Daughters of St. Paul with me at Ein Karem.
Sr. Auxiliadora is the sister to the left,
(I did not catch the other sisters' names)
Discerning is always a tough process but the Lord showers blessings upon those who try their best to follow Him. As I get further in this process, and close to beginning my second year of postulancy, I thank the Lord for all of the blessings He has showered on me. 

He is so generous and full of love! 


mel said...

Wow, so cool! God is really good at coordinating.. He plans all these little surprises that make one's heart soar... =)

tagnes said...

Mel, it truly is really amazing the things God coordinates. He is an exceptional party planner!