Happy Feast Day, everyone!
This is a brief note, to wish all of you the strength and the faith to open up to God’s presence in our lives, so we may be transformed into the holy beings He has called us to become.
This Sunday is the Feast Day of the Monastery and we are purposely running a pilgrimage this week each year, so we may celebrate the Divine Liturgy on the island. Every year, we face temptations at the beginning of this particular pilgrimage. Last year, I was involved in an accident driving to Mull, so I ended up not being able to cross to the island that evening. The group made it to Mull, but not me. We had to wait and fast until 2 pm that Sunday in order to be reunited, but we did eventually celebrate the Divine Liturgy.
This year, just before the pilgrimage, I was struck with a few days of back pain and a series of horrid migraines that have not yet gone away. Five of our pilgrims joining us from the US had their flights cancelled and arrived very late, only a few hours before we started driving towards the Isles. The drivers were so tired we made it to Mull only through God’s mercy and loving care. But we are here. And we have celebrated once again.
Every year, we face temptations, but temptations are only reminders that what we are doing actually matters. Struggle and pain, loneliness and abandonment – all difficulties and dangers, visible to all or deeply personal, are the clear sign that what we are doing matters, that we are approaching something valuable, that we are getting close to the line beyond which Christ is waiting for us.
This Sunday is the Feast Day of All Local Saints – local to all corners of the world, known and unknown. This Sunday is the Feast Day of the Saints we can become ourselves – here and now, in the humble place and time of our own lives, surrounded by our small worries, sunk in our personal stories. This Feast Day we celebrate the fullness of Christ’s presence, the fullness of the grace of the Holy Spirit everywhere, in all places and all hearts.
May we all open up to His presence, so we may all grow into the Saints He created us to be.