Parenthood in relation to the children who have left Home and became independent is a completely different kind of parenthood. This is the time of pride, of becoming parents-in-law (?), grandparents, advisors…
Sometimes it is the time of confronting life which is entirely different from our expectations: abandoning faith, choices we’re not able to accept, rejection, resentment which we do not deserve…
And yet, whenever I talk to parents like those, I always admire their infinite love, patience and hope that their children will find the right path, that they’ll stop rebelling and return to faith.
Thanks to them I come to a better understanding of the love of God, who never turns away from his child – especially the one who got lost.
My special prayer is with you, dear Parents who suffer when you witness the choices of your children. Your children are also the children of God, who loves them even more than you do.
This is how the last big city on the trail to the Wild West says goobye to all those setting off on their journey: with a rainbow – the sign of hope (a riddle again: where am I?).
The sign of hope – of God, who is faithful in His covenant with man. It’s good to realize it day by day that we are His children. All too often we let the other people determine who we are. And yet it was God who invited me to live. It was Him who called me. Only He knows the magnitude of my calling, of my life tasks, and their meaning. He gives the scope to my life and puts it in the right perspective.
When I was taking the picture, someone took a picture of me. Can “hope” come to mind when one sees a priest?
– read the inscription on the T-shirt of the Ordinary Bishop of the diocese I’m in right now (has anybody guessed where?). He has completed 18 marathons, and the members of his diocese may meet him each day on the running trails. Today he was running in the comapany of one seminarist and one priest from Poland 😉 . 7 miles.
So the three of us had this convesration about running, faith, and – beyond the third mile, when the seminarist left us – also about faith, challenges, prayer while running and about the necessary time of solitude.
The runners have a world of their own, and the running priests – are a separate subgroup. You can take God on the trails of your city and enfold the place in your prayer.
Yesterday I visited the Museum of Abraham Lincoln, where you can have some glimpse of the President’s life (a lookalike impersonates him each Friday and Saturday of the summer). And today I had the opportunity to get to know the city from its Bishop. History instructs. Illustrations lead. Historia docet, exempla trahunt. Each meeting may bring something valuable to our life.
Someone wise made this remark that marathons are terrible – too far and too long but… there’s nothing better than training for a marathon. And this is where that major difference comes to the fore. Stop running… start training. When you take to doing something, use your head. Training teaches you how to be systematic, persistent and responsible; it emphasizes the need for both: effort and taking a rest (which is also part of training). When you take such challenge as training for a marathon – you have a great opportunity to practice self-mastery.
Many people I met here had taken part in a marathon, semi-marathon or 10-kilometer race. I meet so many people on running or bike trails. They differ by age and expertise; you can also see married couples and parents with their kids.
And you can really envy the excellent running/bicycle trails they’ve got here. Near housing estates or along streams, parallel to roads connecting towns (at a reasonable distance, of course). Those trails – for runners and cyclists only, as no motor vehicels are allowed – are well-marked with all sorts of signs (e.g. warnings of the obstacles). I especially liked the last trail. It goes along an old railway embankment, so it’s perfectly straight, even, with an excellent surface – and it’s miles long. I’ve checked only 15 kilometers of that trail and there was no end to it. Definitely, when you have such great facilities, you will be encouraged to do something to keep you fit.
But when you train for a marathon, it doesn’t matter what the conditions are. What matters is that yesterday was a day of taking a rest, and today… it’s time to run.
It’s impossible to go on for too long without the adoration of the Holy Sacrament. Last week, after a couple of days in SLC, I managed to spend three hours in the church. I wanted to be as near the Holy Sacrament as possible. I need so much to be close to Him, not to do a lot of talking, but only to be with HIM. In His company everything calms down, goes back to its place, and my “inner man” gains strength.
There are so many churches all around. Every 360 families (i.e. three wards, 120 families each) are assigned to one parish. On Sunday most of the church members take part in a three-hour program. That is really impressive.
But there are no Catholic churches nearby – if “nearby” means a place where you can walk or run to (as running is always some option 😉 ) And I’ve been missing adoration so much. The Holy Sacrament for us is the place we meet the dearest Person: the One who has loved us, who sees us as His brothers and sisters. It’s so much easier to define our identity when we come close to Him. No moment is worth as much as the whiles we spend in His presence. Even though “in Him we move and have our being.”
It seems American people like parades (which Poles associate with the former communist May 1st celebrations). In July there’s a special occasion for that in Utah, commemorating the arrival of Pilgrim Fathers at the Salt Lake Valley to make their home here.
I must admit this is s a great experience. Whole families are camping along the longest street of the city – on chairs or blankets – to watch the 2-hour march.
The parade gives the opportunity to show everytjing that serves the local community (and to advertise our businesses, of course). So there were firemen and policemen, mayor and city authorities, Miss Utah, hospitals and health care units, schools and university, shops and offers for leisure (to start with dancing and finish with bike trips), projects for volunteers and old cars, soldiers who’d been in Iraque and Afganistan, and WW II veterans, school bands and a jazz band. Almost 70 groups altogether.
It was great to watch elderly people enthusiasticaly greeting “their” secondary school which was just passing. It was wonderful to see the viewers reactions, which expressed: we are proud of what we do, we want to share that joy, we want to “infect” you with our enthusiasm. And now we’re happy to be here, thanks to our ancestors who came here – thanks to them, here is our home.
Maybe this sounds very American, but I would like to witness an event like that in my hometown of Łomianki near Warsaw.
So the Harbour lived to show the photo of the captain. It was posed, of course, but I was invited to take over the helm on the way back from the other side of the Bear Lake to the marina.
The first part of the water sports schedule for today was to have consisted in taking me out of water on a board (similar to a snowboard). Six attempts failed and that was it. The other part was simpler. Not to fall from a floating tube, as it is called here. Falling into water was fun, not to mention desperately trying to hold on.
The weather is great, but the sun liked me so much that my skin looks like the sun’s surface and has got similar temperature right now. I’m scared to think of the night ahead. Maybe that’s how the “old man” will peel off quicker from me? I got some aloes just in case, as Polish traditional ways to deal with the problem are not available here. I wonder if there’s any room in this climate for a white man. If so, perhaps only if they’re in a cassock and a wide-brimmed hat.
Our people are everywhere. It’s enough to write in Google browser: “Polish people in Salt Lake City” and you get the information about some events right away. There’s a Eucharist for the Polish community in St Ambrosius Parish on every first and third Sunday of the month. Fr Andrzej Skrzypiec is the parish pries, who came to Salt Lake CIty from Katowice Diocese in Poland in 1989 – and has performed his ministry ever since.
I had to visit them. Quite a large group of Poles came to the Mass, people of different age, with or without children. After the Mass we had coffee and cake baked by some of the ladies.
Even thought time was short, and the Mass took the majority of it, it’s good to stay even for a while among the people who had been shaped by the same history, culture and language. Not to mention the great relief of preaching in Polish.
The altar boys spoke Polish with a strong American accent, the “organist” played traditional Polish church hymns on the piano, and the Liturgy texts were in Polish too – and all that 11,000 km away from Poland. How important faith is in saving your identity so far away from Home.
Today I was at the concert: “Music and the Spoken Word,” which has been taking place each Sunday ever since 15 July 1929.Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square played five beautiful pieces of classical choir and orchestra music.*
During the concert Lloyd D. Newell** gave a short but moving speech (and he’s been doing that on every Sunday for 22 years). And I want to write about that. He talked about this wonderful device called GPS. When you happen to take the wrong route, it says calmly: “recalculating” and gives you the way to fix the mistake. No complaint, no giving reproachful looks or sighing. It just lets you go back on track.
We all need to recalculate our plans, goals and expectations. In the whole process it’s worth to keep calm, stay nice and a bit objective towards your own self. It’s good to remember we ARE LEARNING to grow and become better – and that takes a little time. We have to realize that mistakes are stepping stones on the path to better life – and not insurmountable obstacles.
Not to mention the fact that it’s always worth to be nice. Everywhere. Have a very nice day, Dear Readers from the Harbour.
Still from Salt Lake City,
15.07.2012, 21:16 US Mountain Daylight Time
**Od lewej Vice-President and President of the Choir, one priest you may know, Mary Ellen Smoot and Lloyd D. Newell – the speaker.
American Academy FertiltyCare Professionals annual meeting in Salt Lake City…
July 15, 2012 8:03 am
… is coming to an end. Even though it is the American Academy, the meeting has gathered people from outside America, too: Mexico, Canada, England, Ireland, Spain, Poland. Here they find the opportunity to extend their knowledge, consult in person the best specialists in the field of infertility treatment, share the joy of success and refresh friendships. Each of the participants experiences similar ups and downs; in their cities they often have to act in total isolation. They can talk about it here, find understanding and get insightful hints from the others.
The Canadian-Dutch friend that I meet at breakfast – and it is difficult for us to finish our conversations – has travelled here with his wife who takes part in the meeting. He and several other men who accompany their wives. But also the wives accompany their husbands. They take it as a chance to get to know each other better and to see why their life companions attach such great significance to their service. Because it happens all too often that spouses do not understand why their husband or wife she is so committed to their work.
Maybe you could use the time you spend together on holiday also to talk about your achievements and life’s passions. That’s what I wish to all of you.