Europe/Missionary Blogs

Acts 16:6…Thanks, Mark Hart

It has been a while since my last blog, so, I will take some time and catch you up on my life. I’m still in Arizona. It is very hot and dry here and we have been battling lots of wild fires. Please pray for rain. Over the past few months, my life has also been in a desert state, much like my homeland.  During my last doctor’s appointment, I was told that I’m not allowed to travel back to Germany and the Netherlands. My lungs are air-trapping, and it is too dangerous for me to fly to my European home.  I feel empty. I desperately desire to hug the people I love so much at least one more time. But, I can’t and this leads me to the deeper invitation to cling more tightly to Christ’s Sacred Heart. Yet, this is not easy and it leads to a journey similar to the apostles…I will explain in the following paragraphs.

During June 12-15, I went to Scottsdale to help at the Life Teen Training Convention for youth ministers. It was a gift to be back with some of my brothers and sisters. At the same time, it was also a challenge and much grief was brought to my heart as I know this is the family I will be saying good-bye to in August. From there, I will go to graduate school at the Franciscan University of Steubenville for the M.A. in Counseling program.

On the last night of Convention, Mark Hart gave a talk to prepare the participants for XLT and Reconciliation. As he was speaking, he shared a Bible verse from Acts 16:6. It discusses the apostles as they’re on their journey of preaching the Gospel message. It states, “They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia.” As soon as he said this, I started bawling and didn’t stop crying for over an hour. This verse spoke so deeply to my heart, because I can totally relate to the apostles. Everything in my heart wants to bring the Gospel message to Germany and Holland, but I can’t.

Once Adoration started, and I began staring at the monstrance that enthroned our King, the Lord gave me an image of my entire LT community standing behind our Lord. Often, we use the phrase termed by Blessed John Paul II that illustrates our unity through Holy Communion; it reads, “I’ll see you in the Eucharist.”  I felt like the Lord gave me such a grace of feeling completely united to Him and to those whom I love so dearly through this amazing Sacrament. I am in a state of “Thanksgiving” for the Eucharist (which is its true meaning).

Thus, despite the pain I feel that I can’t be with my brothers and sisters in Europe, God is continuing to reveal to my heart that the most important thing is to be united to His Heart, surrender, and say yes. With this act of obedience of saying yes in the midst of the mess, God provides us with the opportunity to be united to those who are also so tightly intertwined with Christ. It is the most beautiful struggle and we are so blessed to be Catholic!

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