Thursday, September 17, 2015

Faith at the Beach

Summer Saturdays are well spent at seaside on Long Island's south shore. Days are filled with toes in sand, splashings at sea, and pails and shovels filled with seashells. The sun shines, families congregate, and peace flows as all relax and rest. 

A perfect ending to a day at the Malibu Beach Club is a weekly Saturday afternoon event. Several hundred faithful people congregate for a spirit-filled celebration of praise and worship at 4:30 pm. Music floats throughout the entrance of the club as beachgoers flip flop, clip clop from all corners of the beach with sand chairs in hand for what we refer to as our beach Mass. Children with bathing suits and bare feet bring gifts forward while seagulls circle the sky. The priest who leads the worship is also relaxed in style. Many times shorts are spotted under vestments. His voice filled with spiritual thoughts delivers a strong homily fitting for a framework of summer worship. Above the noise of gulls searching for food, people greet each other with the sign of peace before the faithful come forward for the sacrament of communion. 

A spirit-filled celebration of joy happens each week. Reverence under the sun is evident. People walk away from the experience with a smile on their faces and peace in their hearts. There is a lifting of spirits and a feeling that the possible can be attained. Mass at the beach is a service of joy, set against a spectacular summer backdrop painted by the Divine Creator.

The summer beach season is over and so are the Saturday Masses at the sea but the memories are still fresh in my mind. A natural setting offered the perfect backdrop for outdoor worship each week where faithful churchgoers from different parishes met to join hands in praising a magnificent Creator. Short. powerful homilies offered lasting messages that promoted the majesty before us. "It's not your plan, but God's plan." The decisions of life need to be steered by a Divine Hand resonated throughout the stillness of one summer day's worship and filled my family's summer lives. With that powerful statement as a guide, I strive to fill my days with positivity and believe in the power of possibilities provided by a Spirit who resides in a bountiful universe.

Please visit Spiritual Journey Thursday led by Holly Mueller where you will find thoughts about the topic of church and its importance in the lives of the faithful. 

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