Saturday, September 28, 2013

Reliving the past

The Catholic Guy Crew and Mountain
Lou, Maureen, Mountain, Lino, Ryan and Father Rob
Florence Italy June, 2010

I began this blog in 2010, my intent was to write about my adventure to Italy with  host  Lino Rulli "The Catholic Guy"  and pilgrimage planner extraordinaire Mountain Butorac.   My attempt at blogging this trip was a successful fiasco!  Early to rise, late to bed left this traveler very brian dead.  I did have the adventure of a life time - Rome, Assisi, Siena, Florence and a Papal Blessing.  I ate fabulous food, drank luscious wine, enjoyed stunning pieces of art and thoroughly enjoyed the company of my pilgrim peeps.  The one disappointment was I did not feel I had grown as spiritually as I had expected.
The Best and Worst Pilgrims ever!
Italy pilgram peeps
Assis 2010
The following year I join up with the same host and the ever compentent planner Mountain (who does't love saying that name!) for another Pilgrimage.  With no thoughts of blogging or expectations for spiritual growth I was off to Greece with a side stop in Turkey.   With a last minute change to our plans, we gave up two days of our three days in Santorini Greece for a 38 hour whirlwind stop in Rome to attend the Beautification Mass of Blessed Pope John Paul II (canonization plans in process as I write this).   I told you Mountain was the MAN!  I cannot even put to words that experience but lucky for me I can link you to a blog of two warm and inspiring pilgrim peeps who articulated this blessing in a very lovely way.  The site name is  The Practicing Catholic, the link will take you to one of several stories they wrote about the Beautification.
Waiting with millions for enterance to Saint Peters Square
I am the tired one behind the bald guy (sorry Joel) - 2011

The goal is now within sight as the sun rises - 2011

The Surviving 14 of our group, we were the last to gain admittance in to  Saint Peters Square.
The Canadians, The Doctors, The Sisters, The Ulsh's, DaSchmidt's,  Mark, Dee, Jeff and Mountain.  We were blessed.                             May 1, 2011

Exhausted our Pilgrim group was quietly headed to Greece.   This group of pilgrims were the loudest pilgrims ever.  There was laughing, crying, karaoke, and Daily Mass held in a Cruse Ship Disco.   I was in awe that I was walking in the steps that Jesus had walked.  I was brought to tears visiting the House of our Blessed Mother Mary. I visited the cave where the Book of Revelations was revealed to Saint John.  I was overwhelmed by the Ancient Greek Architecture.  I was stunned by the greek sunsets and tantalized by greek food.  I enjoyed a chilling salty swim in the Aegean sea and was thrilled to climb the active volcano of Nea Kameni.  

The Loudest, Craziest Pilgrims ever
Partheon-Athens Greece 2011
Lino Rulli, Father Rob Keighron, Dee (me), Ryan,Maureen

House of Mary - Turkey-2011
                          Picture of the inside of the House of Mary- 2011

Cave of Saint John-Patomos Greece - 2011
   smoke = volcano-Santorini Greece -2011
Sunset over Mykonos Greece-2011
Notice the cross in the rock formation-2011
Greek Appetizers -2011

I returned from this pilgrimage again feeling I had not grown in my faith as I had hoped.  I returned to the dayin - dayout life of work.  I allowed my job to overwhelm my day, my thoughts and my worth.  I went on a trip to London, took my niece on a cruse with no release of the anxiety that had been building up in me.   Tired of this gray cloud floating over me I began to evaluate what was driving this low self worth, I became aware I was allowing unrealistic expectations to rule my thoughts.  I have moved work to a less prominent place in my life hierarchy and am striving to Work to Live not Live to Work.   I have come to understand the growth I was looking for in my spritual life was within ME all along.  I was looking for these growths to come from an experience and was not nourishing the growth from within.   I am back to jumping in to life feet first, I am opening my heart to listen for my calling, I am feeding my soul with more relevant experiences.  Don't get me wrong my travel adventures are not over, just the unrealistic expectation from them.

My final memories of the past I wish to relive are the fond memories of the animals who crossed my path during this trip.  After all they are creatures of God also!  Till the next post God Bless

Dog joining us for Mass at  Ancient Corinth
Father Rob did not miss a beat! 2011
Riding my Ass
(did I really just say that!) 2011

Burros of Lindos Greece - 2011

Camel of Kudasi Turkey 2011

Never have I seen so many dogs without homes. But they appear heathy and well  fed

 For the Finale  - my favorite things of Greece: