Written on: November 1, 2013
The following reflection attempts to capture some of the soul touching moments experienced by Sr. Mary Karen Kelly, GNSH, on a recent Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This Pilgrimage to the Holy Places was a gift from her dear friends in Texas. It was organized by a priest friend from Plano, Texas. There were 42 Pilgrims altogether: 40 from Texas and 2 from PA: Sr. Pat Watkins, GNSH joined Sr. Karen on this journey.
The facts of our trip are readily obvious: photos, postcards of places visited, our Texas companions on the journey, the itinerary and events of each day, the sights and sounds, scents and souvenirs.
What is challenging to express is the inner journey:
– how God touched our souls and hearts in unexpected, graced ways
– how centuries of staunch faith, persistent hope, compassionate love even to shedding one’s blood, live on in the relics of stone walls and floors and fragments
– how following Jesus and living His message become the necessary stuff of life, the energy and the motivation for every decision and action
The very geography points to prayer:
-the clarity of the light, the emptiness of desert hills,
-the sweet respite of oases, star-studded desert skies,
-the Sea of Galilee undulating under the full moon,
-countless olive groves and date palms,
-masses of fuchsia, white and magenta bougainvillea spilling over garden walls and lining roadways, sweet reminders of God’s graces…
Even the stones cry out [if one has ears to listen] the basic tenets of our Faith:
God is one
God is love
God is here
God is everywhere
We are all God’s own.
Mary Karen Kelly GNSH
October 24, 2013
Sr. Mary Karen Kelly has served as Teacher, Missionary, Service Program Director and in Congregational Leadership. She currently serves as Archivist for the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart.