The four aspirants from the Denver house just returned from a wonderful 6 weeks with the house in Gharzouz, Lebanon. We lived a beautiful time of fraternal life, discovery, and awe.
For the first three weeks in Lebanon, we were joined by 5 Beatitudes Missions pilgrims. We saw most of the country during these first three weekends. Fr. Joseph and the Beatitudes Youth were very generous in planning these outings for us! The entire country was welcoming to us. Each weekend was a mix of visits to holy sites and churches, beautiful nature, and impressive ruins from the many civilizations that have occupied the country.
We found Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa to be one of the most profound sites, Her presence there is undeniable. Lebanon is in Her hands!
Our most surprising adventure was being invited to eat lunch with the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai!! At the table was Patriarch Rai, his private team, and our group of 10. I feel the lunch was a relief for him to have someone that did not want to talk about politics. After lunch, he gave us a private tour of his residence at the Patriarchate and blessed each of us individually.
Our life inside the house was spent in the usual Community life, which is as you all know equally profound! It was a new experience for those of us who know the Denver house to pray the liturgy that we know and love in a language other than English. Also, to see and learn about the Maronite rite in a special “teaching” Mass that Father Joseph celebrated for us.
The house is blessed to have a large and fruitful garden on the property. Most of our work time was spent picking, washing, and preparing the fruits and vegetables. Although the heat could be strong, it was fulfilling to eat the fruits of our labors!
Beatitudes Youth in Lebanon was also a powerful presence for us. Their group is only 2 years old but has in that time formed very strong bonds and is truly a living image of God’s love. On most of our outings, someone from the group was always with us!
Thank you all for your prayers! Please join us in continued prayer for Lebanon.
Our Lady of Lebanon, pray for us!