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Friday, October 17, 2008

Back from Scotland and England, a great experience

Today is the Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch who was born around the time of the death of Jesus; he became a good bishop to the first Christians in Antioch, one of the centers of early Christianity. Ignatius wrote seven letters on his way to being a martyr in Rome; these are a rich source for us to learn about the early Church; the students in my International Online Program have just been reading these letters so I needed to say something about Ignatius today before sharing my wonderful trip with you.
I have so much to say about the graces of the past three weeks in both Scotland and England that I think it will take days to tell you about it. Those of my readers who only want the day's spiritual reflection need not read the second part of my daily blog that will contain some of my reflection on the trip.

I think I should begin with seven things that I am most grateful for during my weeks of travel - I wrote these in my journal this morning and want to share them with you.
I am most grateful: 1. For finding incredibly holy, happy, God-filled friends who opened their homes and hearts to me and to whom I will ever be grateful for they all revealed the love of God's Heart for me;
2. For the ability to be at home wherever I went and feel the grace of the Society of the Sacred Heart's internationality that welcomed and thrilled me;
3. For the beauty found in this world created by God for us to find Him in this vast and varied beauty of moors, lochs, burns, mountains and valleys, hills and fields;
4. For the sense of history that makes for sacred space and places; the pilgrimage to Iona was one of the highlights of the trip;
5. For deepening relationships and experiencing the importance of dialogue across cultures that was so life-giving;
6. For making new friends and being inspired by their love and kindness drawn from the Heart of Jesus;
7. For learning new ways, new things, new vocabulary, and feeling at home amid the newness and being broadened by it.
Lord, I give thee thanks for every moment of these past weeks and I am especially grateful for your presence with me.

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