Pilgrimage to the mass of Beatification of Father Solanus Casey
Part 4 – God’s Many Blessings
While on this pilgrimage, I experience so many extraordinary blessings. God is full of surprises.
First, about three months ago my parish started announcing that a pilgrimage was planned. The price tag was reasonable but not for me at this time. I really wanted to go but since I am practicing surrendering I simply prayer, “Jesus, if you want me to go please make a way when I see no way.” Then I didn’t think much about it and just left it up to God. About four days before the group was leaving, a friend called me and asked if I would be able to go in her place if she wasn’t feeling well. I humbly said that I would be grateful to do so but that I would pray hard for her to be well. I prayed for her and kind of had a feeling I would be going. I even packed my bag in my head at morning mass on Wed. LOL! I did my laundry and waited to hear. I got a call at noon the day before we left saying I would be going! God sure likes to wait until the last minute! I packed up and left with the group on Friday at 9am.
We boarded the bus. I made my way to the back part of the bus and took a seat. A women who I have never meet before sat next to me. Turns out she works at the Diocesan office. It was really cool to meet someone new and hear about what she does.
The second blessing occurred while in Milwaukee visiting the Saint Francis Seminary. At the Seminary, they have a spiral stair case that goes up to a a small oval room that overlooks the city. A few people started up but at a certain point, got scared, and headed back down. I’m afraid of heights but didn’t want to regret not going up so I faced my fear and starred at the stairs and made it all the way up! A fellow pilgrim took a picture of me at the top. Little did I realize, up was easier then down. I was scared going down but made it okay. I has pretty proud I faced my fear.
We arrived at the hotel. I went to received my room assignment and found I had my own room! It ended up being nice because I was up numerous times. I’m glad I didn’t have a roommate to disturb. The next morning, we get on the bus and since we had arrived so late, 1 am and I didn’t sleep well, I tried to sleep in my seat. Not so easy. My seat mate offers to sit someplace else and the person behind me lent me their pillow. The blessings continue. We stopped for lunch. I purchased some rice and vegetables but the rice was salty and not so great. I walked up to a table with some fellow pilgrims and asked if the wrap, one person is eating, was any good. She says yes and proceeds to give me her other half!
On to the stadium, we arrive and the line to get water was like a thousand people. I go to my seat. My friend next to me offers me some of her water. The three seats in front of me remain open, even though like 98% of the stadium is full. This allows for an unobstructed view of the Beatification. My legs are really sore because of going up and down the spiral stair case so you cannot believe my relief when this tiny priest comes along the row just below where we are sitting and is administering communion! We were in row nine and many people where walking back up to the top.
On our way back to the bus, it was raining heavily with a stiff wind. It was quiet miserable and I was in a skirt and holding an umbrella with my bare hands. My hands where turning to ice when my friend offered to let me wear her extra pair of gloves.
The following day, a couple who was sitting in the front of the bus let me take their seat so I could sit in the front of the bus near some friends. It made the ride so much more pleasant and the time passed much faster.
Not only was the Beatification something special but the whole trip had so many unexpected blessings. Don’t forget as Blessed Solanus taught to, “Thank God ahead of time” and watch for God’s many gifts.