My experience in one of the Treasures of Our Church
I believe that all of you know that a short while ago in Florida, U.S.A., Hurricane Irma affected us; a storm never seen before. It was bigger than Colombia, my country of origin. Due to the threat of the hurricane, many Floridians decided to evacuate - far away from the winds and water that Irma was bringing to our area. I was one of the thousands of Floridians who evacuated out of the state, and I chose the State of Alabama because the projection of the storm showed that Alabama would not be touched by Irma and its tentacles.
Because of the magnitude of the storm, our archbishop, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, sent a letter letting us know that there would be no Masses on Saturday and Sunday, so we were dispensed of our Sunday Mass obligation. I thought that it was very sad, but I immediately planned to go to Mass in Alabama and to pray for all the victims of Hurricane Irma and also to pray for those who couldn't attend Mass during that weekend.
I chose as my destination: Hanceville, Alabama, as it is northwest of the state of Florida, and additionally, because there is a shrine called “Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament”, founded by Mother Mary Angelica. Have you heard that name before? Yes, Mother Mary Angelica is also the one who founded EWTN, one the biggest Catholic networks around the world. I really recommend this shrine. It is very peaceful, and it invites you to enter into contemplation and meditation, where you can feel the hands of God and of our Blessed Virgin Mary embracing your soul. After Sunday Mass, I took the time to get to know the shrine and to pray. In the beautiful lower chapel, you can feel the sanctity, and can admire the beauty of the decor; in this place one can connect easily with heaven.
In the lower crypt chapel, all the way behind the benches, there is the tomb of Mother Angelica. I think she will be proclaimed saint of our Church soon. She was very special, and with her legacy, there were, and will be thousands of souls touched by the Lord's love. Later we went out, and when we were going out the chapel, I had the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation with the priest who presided the Mass; it was a soft and comforting bath for my soul. And... what a surprise! After my confession, we met with Father Peter's family. Yes, you are right; Father Peter from the Home of the Mother =).
The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament also has a beautiful replica of the Lourdes Grotto, in France. This place transported us to Lourdes. Of course, my family and I took the time to pray the Rosary, and we offered it for Irma’s dissipation and the good of the victims. Although there was a scorching heat that day, there was a fresh breeze, and a group of 5 or 7 people also decided to join us. It was a holy moment.
I would like to give every detail about the shrine, but I challenge you to make time to go and visit this beautiful treasure of our Holy Church. Then, you could share your thoughts and experience with us, and together we can contribute with our testimonies to bring the love of our Lord to others. The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament is a place for non-believers and believers to have a face to face encounter with our Creator.
May the Lord and our Blessed Mother Mary bless and protect us.
Laudatur Iesus Christus!
My blog “It´s for Real”
Glenn Fong is from Cali, Colombia but is currently living in Florida. He has been married to Sandra for 15 years, (yes, it is possible! Marriage is supposed to be forever!), and they have been blessed with two children. Glenn studied Systems Engineering at San Buenaventura University in Cali, Colombia and now works for a multinational company as an Analyst-Developer. He is not a writer, but his passion for Christ and His Church propel him to write about many different topics.
Glenn Fong is author and editor of the Blog "It´s for Real", which can be found on the website www.familiesfullyalive.com.