Thursday, February 17, 2011

Back From Paradise


By the grace of God, I'm back in Korea after a fortnight on Maui, where I was a guest for two Sundays at Maria Lanakila Catholic Church in historic Lahaina, the first capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and a night each on Oahu and Guam.

"The Valley Isle" was of such unearthly beauty that on my first days there I entertained a few difficulties with the Doctrine of Heaven; how could anything be more beautiful than what lay before me? Fitting then that this reading from the Little Office of Our Lady by Saint Anselm of Canterbury should have been the last I read there, and even more so that the islands themselves were inhabited by human beings at about the time of the events described:
    Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night--everything that is subject to the power or use of man--rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for human beings or for the praise of God who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of human beings who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendor by those who believe in God.

    The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary's womb.
I'll return to Pohang tomorrow and regular blogging will resume shortly, God willing.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Welcome back, Joshua!

Oh, to be able to go to Hawaii for the lectio divina experience! ;-)

6:38 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Thanks for the welcome back!

I had never given much thought to Hawai'i, other than pondering the fact the hometown hero Grover S. Cleveland rightly opposed annexation. But my father has been proposing that we meet midway in Hawai'i for years, and now that we've finally gotten around to it, I was flabbergasted.

My last day in Honolulu convinced me of the slogan "Maui no ka oi," Maui is the best. There, humpback whales can be seen from the beaches and old churches, many of them Catholic, can be found on the shores. I was surprised at the number of churches.

On a familial note, my daughter taught herself swimming there, the only way to learn as far as I'm concerned.

7:48 PM  
Blogger David said...

Welcome back. Sounds like it was a beautiful trip. Looking forward to having you as part of my morning routine again.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Stephen Hand said...

Welcome back!

12:19 AM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Glad you are back, and glad to hear you had such a wonderful time. How did you like my wife's home-island of Guam? From what she tells me, there are many churches there, as well as a great cathedral at the capital.

2:13 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

David and Stephen, thanks.

Mark, I'm afraid I did not have a chance to see much of Guam, as we had planned. In our connection in Honolulu, the airline asked for volunteers to dely travel a day in exchange for free accomodations, meals, first class travel the next day, and a $300 voucher for future flights. We took them up on their offer and explored Honolulu rather than Guam.

We may use our vouchers to visit Guam. I did see a beautiful church from the airplane.

7:48 AM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.