“As dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on, saying, ‘On your way! Take with you your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of Sodom.’”
God’s love gave us angels as protectors and friends. My Guardian Angel is all the time “at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide.” Sometimes we have to allow them to take us ”to safety outside the city.” Vacations are perfect to focus on our relationships: “take with you your wife and your children” and go away, go “to safety.”
“I trust in the LORD; my soul trusts in his word.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” (Mk 1: 34)
The Bible is full of precise descriptions about timing: “when it was evening, after sunset,” “very early before dawn.” For the Evangelists this was so important, so we can enter into Our Lord’s life more fully. It is not only about prayer—“he prayed,” but also about place—“a deserted place” and time—“very early before dawn.” It helps us to imitate His life and connect with Him at the right time knowing how important it was for Him. For Our Lord evening was for serving others, but morning was for God. Sometimes we give to God what remains of our day, but Jesus gave the beginning of the day to prayer.
“Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught” (Mk 6:30). And that was His answer: “Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while” (Mk 6:31).He knew how important is time for rest.
Rest for a while. But a rest doesn’t have to mean “to do nothing”. A very good idea for rest is to spend some time with Him only. It is a really good rest and even a relief to stay some time before the Holy Sacrament. Or some time with the Bible.
We came back from the Mexican village earlier than planned. Everyone wanted to have a moment of rest. The kind hosts probably also enjoyed a moment of peace:) We came back to work, meaning; important meetings, but I’ll come back to it later.
Today I’d like to share with you a unique experience, something I dreamt of ever since I saw for the first time the Cirque de Soleil in San Diego, in the Oceanarium. I didn’t know then that this Cirque was an incredible group touring the world and showing its performances, so I dreamt of seeing them again. For the time being I had to be content myself with watching their shows or fragments thereof on YouTube. I recommend them to you to see in your spare time.
And it turned out that they were here, in Mexico, with the show entitled “Verekai – Wherever”. Good people, when they heard my joy that the Cirque was here, took care of the tickets and so I could see the show live, an unforgettable experience.
This was a mixture of fairytale stories, costumes beyond imagination and choreography with live music played on stage. The actors controlled their bodies perfectly and all this meant that the show was truly unforgettable.
It’s difficult to say what was the most impressive element – acrobats on the rope without any safety measures, flawless jugglery or perfectly supple bodies? Each of these things was extraordinary but for me the most impressive thing were the exploits of acrobats – not only individual performance but team effort – so that one person thrown in the air landed precisely on the arms of colleagues. The joy of people who are happy to go beyond the limits of the possible.
Probably none of the watchers will start practising at home but we will not be able to say so easily that something is impossible because these people show us that if you really want something, it is possible.
Dr Hilgers is known for being a fan of University of Nebraska-Lincoln fotball team – the famous Huskers. This time the lectures coincided with an important game. Therefore, it didn’t surprise anyone when Dr Hilgers asked his wife to keep him updated about the match results when possible.
For us, Poles, the emotions linked with sport in America go far beyond our imagination. Even though we had our Euro (European Football Championships) and we have games in other sport disciplines, the American ones are quite complicated for us: they have their football (not to be confused with our soccer), in which you hold the ball under your arm and run about the whole football pitch, baseball, in which you hit the ball with a baseball bat, or rugby which we are a bit familiar with, not to mention golf and wrestling. Each state has got its famous team and stadiums, both for football and baseball.
What won my heart was that the Huskers team always pray before the game in the pitch, kneeling on one knee on the grass.
Nobody feels offended or shocked, or surprised. In Poland we can sometimes catch the glimpse of a player furtively making the sign of the cross. And here the whole team is praying. Strange country.
This prayer is also known to every Huskers fan:
The Husker Prayer
Dear Lord, the battles we go through life,
We ask for a chance that’s fair
A chance to equal our stride,
A chance to do or dare
If we should win, let it be by the code,
Faith and Honor held high
If we should lose, we’ll stand by the road,
And cheer as the winners go by
Day by Day, we get better and better!
Til’ we can’t be beat…
WON’T BE BEAT!
“After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers”. (Luke 2: 46-47)
I am often astounded by the natural wisdom of our children. I remember a situation when after a “sermon” on my part my daughter told me “Mum, don’t be angry with us when we make mischief. Be calm because we still have a lot to learn”.
I must admit she was 100% right and as a child in a kindergarten she was able to put it in words clearly. And I must also say that this was a lesson for me and thanks to it I was able to correct my attitude and the way of speaking. You can learn a lot from children.
But sometimes more time is necessary for such a natural wisdom to reach me, sometimes I also need more time to take up what others teach me.
Jesus devoted 3 days to teachers. He spent with them three days so that they had time to admire, understand and see. He also has the time for me. The only thing for me to do is to find some time to sit with Him and to talk about some things with Him.
The beginning of the end of holidays. We hurry in the direction of the Tatra mountains. We stop at a church on our way, because it’s Sunday, and we kept packing things for so long.
A priest resembling Janosik (the real one, from the TV series) by his stature, face and even the way of speaking. An ordinary sermon about modern civilisation with its strive to make everything easy and the narrow door that Jesus recommends, And a question: “Would you like to be loved comfortably?”.
Well.. Do I love comfortably? Sometimes. Too often. Do I like such “love”? By no means.
I am still astounded at how this is possible that in the 21st century, supposedly so enlightened and free from prejudices, we cannot stay in the 13th floor of a hotel. Just because such a floor is not there. We have the 12th and then immediately the 14th floor.
The same happens in airlines. For the sake of freedom God is eliminated from the public space but people remain slaves of superstitions.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free”. These words are a programme for our whole life. When we get rid of chains in one filed, there appear new areas where we need to work systematically to become free.
A street parallel to the one I live in is the famous Bournon Street, the most famous street in the French Quarter, a part of New Orleans. For many hours at night it is a neverending walking zone. The French Quarter is the only place in the US where you can drink alcohol in the street. The city of complete relax, the Big Easy, as Americans say. However, it seems not to have much in common with real freedom.
Our children and we – the parents – have great fun putting into practice the ideas for games described in the following book:
All kinds of rough and tumble play, pillow fights, rolling and cuddling are for us the time of laughter, relax, joy and being close to one another. We strengthen the ties among us and get rid of our resentments and stress.
According to the authors of this book physical games have an impact on physical and psychical health. Among other things, they develop children’s courage, confidence, trust and perseverance.
…with families are sometimes risky. They may end up in giving you a new identity which you’ll find difficult to live with. Meaning: it’s definitely more than you are, and still you may feel obliged to accomplish the goal of fulfilling the expectations.
That’s how it was. Two days ago I went to the beach with a group of families. I seemed to be taking my trip solo, but on the way we were walking together. When we got to the beach, some families went left and some right. I stayed independent in the middle. After a time I decide to check the temperature of the Baltic Sea. I noticed a large shallow area, going far into the sea. To the left and to the right of it the water was knee-deep and deeper close to the shore, and here you could walk for many meters and only your feet beneath your ankles got wet. Froma distance it might look like the way of moving aroud the see in a Gospel-like manner. So I didn’t have to wait long for response. One of the children cried out: “Look, Mum, God is walking on the water!!!” It turned out I stand for “God” in their language.
And today at dinner one of the boys told his mother that he’d “played with Jesus.” Ufff. I felt a bit relieved. Maybe in a few days I’ll get down to my own identity: a priest. But even that identity is so obliging. To set example for children, to make the world of prayer safe, close, and warm, and to ispire the longing to become part of that world – that is really obliging.
That is to continue the thought of our M from the previous post. Wether you are a Mum or Dad, Wife or Husband, Piest or Sister – you need to grow to match your name. The lives of the others depend on that. The way they discover the dignity of a person depends on that.