I apologize that it has been a while since I’ve posted anything. This past weekend was very eventful for we celebrated the feasts of St. Clare and Rufino, and followed by the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. Italy effectively shuts down on the feast of the Assumption as a national holiday. Therefore, we didn’t have class and life was good!
Instead of studying Italian I decided to make a little pilgrimage to Santa Maria degli Angeli for 7am Mass (a good 45 min walk away from the town of Assisi). After Mass I climbed the Subasio to the very top.
I mentioned before what it is like to climb the mountain. Jesus ascended the mountain to escape from other people to and to commune with the Father. I too used the day off for that purpose, praying and walking up the side of the mountain. I began my ascent around 11am and reached the peak around 2pm. I stopped to eat a sandwich that I packed, but otherwise kept trucking up the hill (I am still very tired from the hike).
On this trip I realized how beautiful God’s creation really is, beginning with the ordinary things we take for granted like friends, family, our very breath, to the most extraordinary panoramic views of mountains and hills. At one point I became discouraged along my journey because I couldn’t seem to find the right path to the top and after almost turning around I caught a glimpse of the mountains in the distance. I lost my breath and sighed deeply as I realized how God had granted me this vision of His beautiful creation and in the midst of frustration I thought of giving it up and turning back. I thank God that He gave me the perseverance to follow the way a little longer so that I could finish my journey.
I think of how often sin can distract us from the vision that God desires to grant us, and most often we fall because we have lost sight of the grand vision that lay before us because we are looking down at the road discouraged that we fail to see where it may lead us. Then, once in a while God opens up our eyes to see the glory that lay before us, and indeed what had always been there for our viewing! When we sin, we fail to see past the moment to the light of heavenly glory and when we encounter struggles in our lives – when we climb our own mountain – we are being asked by God to see His beautiful creation from a different perspective, and one that will most likely make our jaw drop.
In short, do not be discouraged in what trials you may encounter now, but persevere and God will surprise you with a glimpse of the glory that awaits us when we reach the top!
May God bless you all with the peace of Christ,
Ps. Enjoy the pictures and the video of my diocesan brother Josh.