A diary entry for today – Grieving Separation

In my morning’s spiritual reading, I read Saint Francis de Sales asking us to imagine doves in the sky flying with different colors. Then he quotes King David in the book of Psalms, “Even while you sleep among campfires, the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver, its feathers with shining gold” (Psalms 68:13)

Then I get a text message from one of the parents from Sacred Heart where I used to do ministry at. It said they were thinking of me as they leave this morning for their high school conference to Steubenville. I definitely experienced a mix of strong emotions. One to start is I love that trip on several levels: 1) witnessing the youth we’ve worked with at the church over the school year experience the Holy Spirit in a different, deeper, powerful way 2) being goofy in the car rides there and back and at meals 3) bonding from the first two points. Just last year, I paid cash inside for gas and then forgot to pump the gas. Also last year, one of the kids slept under the stairs like Harry Potter #epic #whyIloveKids

But what really got me about the text is the encouragement I received. I definitely experience sadness to be separated from a place I loved so much and now being a sort of lone Ranger at this point in the journey. I’m also packing up my belongings to finish the sale on my house next week. But this text encourages me as I feel like I’m in the Fellowship of the Rings where we may have separated from our team, but we’re still united in the fight and still think of each other.

And packing up my belongings and moving on from selling my home is hard. Very hard. But I’m not supposed to get overly attached to a church or home as we need to leave these behind to be ready for our true home in heaven. And where I can be reunited with the parents and youth I loved doing ministry with. Heaven where we’ll see the Holy Spirit as a dove with more colors than all the colors we had on earth.

Going vulnerable and transparent today,

Mike Panlilio

5 thoughts on “A diary entry for today – Grieving Separation”

  1. When we are separated from loved ones, I find it helpful to meditate on the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Mother:
    SEVEN SORROWS OF THE VIRGIN MARY:
    THE PROPHECY OF SIMEON.
    (St. Luke II, 34, 35)
    THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT.
    (St. Matthew II, 13-14)
    THE LOSS OF THE CHILD JESUS IN THE TEMPLE.
    (St. Luke II, 43-45)
    THE MEETING OF JESUS AND MARY ON THE WAY OF THE CROSS.
    THE CRUCIFIXION.
    THE TAKING DOWN OF THE BODY OF JESUS FROM THE CROSS.
    THE BURIAL OF JESUS.
    (John 19: 38-42)
    During periods of separation, I find the Third Sorrow particularly helpful. The Holy Family has come from a happy and spiritual time with family and friends, and suddenly Jesus is not found. The hearts of Mary and Joseph experience a jolt within their wrenching hearts. They look for him with great apprehension and they experience their first sense of parental loss and separation from their beloved child. When they find Jesus, he lets them know that the happy times together as an earthly family will not last forever. Mary and Joseph are so relieved to find him, but also quickly brought to the reality of this passing journey in life. It is an experience that we all go through and when we travel it with Mary and Joseph and the young Jesus, we can enter into their experiences, share with them our own experience, and pray that we never waste a single moment of time here on earth while we still have the chance. Thanks for this reminder, Mike. I know your “kids” from Sacred Heart are better for having known you to be sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That University is a special place where the love of our Lord fills you up and everyone around you gets filled up too! Hence, a little heaven on earth where everyone talks all about Our Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit all day and night! But in heaven we may not need food or breaks to keep praising and glorifying or sleep for that matter!!! And you will see all colors of doves 😉 !!!!!
    We got Work to do here still to get each other there! Moving on to others in need of that love. God seems to be sending you, Mike! Cellphones are obviously helping keep us connected in the meantime!
    I feel like I can still smell the scents of it all now I’m looking forward to multicolored doves!!! Bless you Mike!

    Liked by 1 person

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