The Holy Land Never Leaves You

In March of this year, Regnum Christi consecrated woman Deb Bauer was blessed to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with other members of the Regnum Christi family and staff. Following is her final reflection upon returning home.

On the return trip, I’m in the Newark Airport Chapel with the Blessed Sacrament, writing my reflections. One thought comes to mind. “You don’t need to go to the Holy Land to encounter Him. He is with us – just as real.”

However, the visit helps our faith and imagination.

It was a trip with loads of prayer. Thinking now, there is so much to unpack. This experience reaffirmed my Christian vocation and my consecrated vocation. I’m so attracted to the sacred places where He gave Himself for me. I feel so strangely at home. At Calvary, the Pit where he spent his last night, Gethsemane, and the Stations. There I want to pray and thank God for my vocation. I feel like Mary Magdalene, going to the tomb because I want to be with Him, to stay near to Him, console Him, and offer Him my life, my gratitude and prayers for others in the intentions.

My trip to the Holy Land seems surreal now. But I realize the experience “marks” a person. Every time I hear the Word of God, and even pray the rosary I will think, “I’ve been there.”

 


A Day by Day Reflection from the Holy Land

Deb and Maritza

March 5 (Ash Wednesday) – Travel Day 1

4:50 p.m. – 9:20 a.m. Providence, Rhode Island to Newark, Delaware and then on to Tel Aviv, Israel.

I’m excited and distracted. What a gift to start Lent accompanying our Beloved in such a way. “Create in me a clean heart…” (Psalm 51) “Give me back the JOY of your salvation and a willing spirit to SUSTAIN in me.” I praise you, Jesus. I open every part of my being; do as you wish for my soul! Mary, I give you permission to direct me and direct my merits and gratitude.

Day 2 – March 6 (Thursday)

We arrive at Notre Dame at and feel right at home. I slept a lot on the plane. Maritza, my companion, didn’t, so she is sleeping now, and I just finish my rosary on the patio terrace of the apartment the consecrated women use. The members of my group are all in a meeting with the LCs, so it’s a perfect time. Here I am – a 30-minute walk to the Cenacle (upper room)! It took one hour from Tel Aviv to the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center (where we are staying). I meditate on Jesus going “up” to the Holy City. I am too tired to have more “lights,” but I know I am blessed to walk in this land! Read the rest of this entry »


A Meditation from the Holy Land

In March of this year, Regnum Christi consecrated woman Deb Bauer was blessed to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with other members of the Regnum Christi family and staff. Following is another of her prayer meditations from the Holy Land. Next, she will share her reflections day by day.

“For you are my treasured possession” (Ex 19:5).

Lord, as I traverse around Judea and Galilee, I’m reminded of these tender words.

You lived, and walked, and had Your being here in this small, but rich country, with a leadership and class system that was obstinate to Your message. Yet, you came to redeem the lost. The reaction and rejection of men did not stop Your work; You loved and pressed on.

Isn’t evangelization in our world today in the same environment? Our world is minute compared to the Kingdom to come. We seem insignificant to the powers that control our economy, media, and politics. Yet, our Church has a voice and a man from a far-off country named Francis who is proving his “Galilean heritage”: he serves to be an instrument of Your truths – to reach out to the lost and to be a compass for the faithful.

 


Reflections from Jerusalem – Lent at Calvary

In March of this year, Regnum Christi consecrated woman Deb Bauer was blessed to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with other members of the Regnum Christi family and staff. Following is one of her meditations from the Holy Land. (More to come…)

Each day at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, Mass is celebrated at Calvary.

As a consecrated woman, I have always had a special devotion to Christ’s Passion and Death.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a “sour puss” gloom and doom Christian. I just live in the joy and hope of Christ’s most loving act – how “He humbled himself and took the form of a slave, and became obedient, even unto death, death on a cross.”

In my vocation, I have had the rare privilege to enter into and accompany people in their own hardships and sufferings. I even have to admit I could get angry at God when I see their desolation and pain, from infidelity, the death of a young child, sudden death, betrayal, rejection; the pain goes on and on. Read the rest of this entry »


"All we can hope is that we come out of this with more faith than we had before."

These words were spoken by Fr. Juan Solana LC, in an introduction to the Holy Sepulchre where we spent the night. It was somewhat of a calming talk, after the hectic and scary beginning to our night. Fr. Daniel had told our group (almost everyone went) that we would probably have a difficult time getting in to the Holy Sepulchre, but he had talked to a monk, and we hoped it would run smoothly. It seemed that God wanted a little more sacrifice and a lot more “Hail Mary's” before we got what we wanted. Read the rest of this entry »


Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives, with a little side of Dormition Abbey and The Upper Room on Mount Zion, and a dash of St. Peter at Gallicante

Following is the next installment from Everest Collegiate senior Megan Luttinen from the Holy Land:

Going to the Garden of Gethsemane on Holy Thursday packs a special “punch.” Amer told us that the word “Gethsemane” means olive press. It was a garden, and also a place where they pressed olives. He also said specifically that it was a symbol of Jesus' agony in the garden because we pushed and pressed Jesus so much that he sweat blood, almost like pressing an olive brings forth oil.

The church is darkly lit, and the stain glass windows are all shades of purple. An intricate ceiling and a mosaic floor are on display, showing the beauty of the church. But the most epic part is the mosaic on the outside. This depiction of Jesus and his disciples on the northern face is incredible. Small stones, used to make such an impacting image, show the dedication the artist must have felt when making the mosaic. Next we see the panoramic view on the Mount of Olives, and from looking at it, I am humbled and in awe. Read the rest of this entry »


Holy Sepulchre.... There's not much else to say…

The latest installment from Everest Collegiate student Megan Luttinen in the Holy Land:

Who knew that waking up at 5 am and having Mass at 6 am would be so life changing?

Our group woke up so early because we were able to have Mass at the Holy Sepulchre, on the exact spot where Jesus was nailed to the cross and died on Calvary.

Just let that sink in. So powerful.

All of us were able to touch the rock on which Jesus was crucified. It is under a Greek Orthodox altar and occupation. The (Roman) Catholic Church has it's altar on the spot where Jesus was nailed to the cross. We were one of the only groups to celebrate Mass there, and it was a moving experience. Read the rest of this entry »


An Orphan’s Walk with Jesus

I write this blog from Haiti where for Holy Week and Easter Mission Youth has been working with the Missionaries of Charity.

During the mission trip I have been spending most of the day with the young men overseeing some small construction projects: school benches, vegetable gardens for families and a future school-house. After a long day working, I came one afternoon into the orphanage having in mind to simply spend a few hours with the children. These children are between 3-6 years of age, all of them lost parents in the earthquake or cholera epidemics.

I found the children in the playground area and as I entered I was surrounded by them. They know me by now and of course, they also know I will push the swings for them. The little children began pulling me toward the swings and saying, “mon Père!” which is a traditional greeting to a priest and means “my Father!” Read the rest of this entry »


One of my Favorite Places so Far

Following is another segment in the blog series from Everest Collegiate student Megan Luttinen on pilgrimage with her senior class in the Holy Land:

Magdala is the place where Mary Magdelene lived, and is also the place where Jesus removed the seven demons from her. The most amazing part is that the Legion of Christ oversees the place we visited (They are the ones who started it!) and we are the first ever Everest group to visit the completed church! (Click here to read about the upcoming church dedication.) Read the rest of this entry »


Poverty to need Christ, Faith to touch Christ

Br Samuel gave the following reflection during a holy hour a week ago and later sent to your humble blog editor -- just too good not to post...

In a couple of days, Jesus will enter into Jerusalem. The King comes to redeem the world…my world. He humbly rides into the city, sitting on a donkey…Much like here on the altar right now… There was and is no pompous procession to be seen, no angels nor saints visible to the eye, no sign of his mighty power, and yet, that’s precisely the sign of his omnipotence…He’s here, on the altar, patiently waiting for me to acknowledge his presence, his love, his careful watch over me… Read the rest of this entry »



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