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Day Five – Novena from Israel


Finding the Lord is usually not difficult. Get in your car. Walk a few blocks.

There He is.

Even on pilgrimage, the priest is usually on the trip. He prays the Mass. Jesus shows up.

But when you are in an unfamiliar place, spiritually or geographically, when the Holy Spirit seems lost to you or you to the Lord. When you don’t know the way around and even the directions another offers seems murky and indecipherable, then the trusting is something you commit to and not something you possess.

It is a yes you give to God.

Even when He seems hidden.

Today, I decided to find St. Peter’s church in Tiberias.

I left early and decided to walk. According to my phone, it should be four minutes from the hotel.

The streets are confusing. Even when you know the Lord is right around the bend.

You doubt yourself.

You want someone to just point the way, lead you, take you by the hand.

But they don’t speak your language.

Spiritually or really.

They don’t know where to tell you where to go even if they did speak your language.

This is not a place they have ever sought for themselves.

It’s just you, darling, and fortitude and grace.

And there it is. A little sign on a humble exterior wall with a gate around the outside. It doesn’t look like you belong there. It’s too private-looking. Like it belongs to another.

But you see the Jerusalem Cross in the grill of the gate, like a figure in a hidden-pictures children’s book.

This is your “hello” in a world of “I don’t know you.”

This is your hiding place in a foreign land.

This is your station. Where the buses and trains all go to your ultimate destination.

If you will it and say yes.

If you persevere.

If you submit and seek to be part of E family waiting inside.

You go inside, as I did.

Someone asks if you came for Mass. And your heart simultaneously leaps for joy and relaxes because you are home.

You ask if it is ok.

And a lovely religious sister smiles and says, “Yes, of course.”

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