This is a guest post by my nephew Jake. Guest posts and post comments on Good Saints represent the ideas and opinions of individual posters and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of Good Saints.
We went on a hike in Empire on May 26th in honor of the Feast of St. Philip Neri. The hike consisted of parishioners from Holy Rosary, one from Philip Neri and Father Libby. The hiker's ages ranged from 9 to 77, with a total of about 26. We began the hike with the Divine Mercy Chaplet about a quarter to 3:00.
When we finished the chaplet we took a break to practice the songs that we would later sing at the beach. At that time Father explained the first stage of the hike to us. He compared it to the beginning of the spiritual life. When everything is alive and the trees block you from the sun, you are shaded from worldly things.
The second part of the hike was like the spiritual life, when you walk through the woods and the sunlight shines in different spots. For example, when you pray you are shadowed by trees but when you get distracted you let the sun shine in.
The third part of the hike was all sunshine. It was like when the spiritual life gets hard. We were hot and wanted to stop but kept going despite our troubles.
The fourth part of the hike was the hardest part. It was all up hill and sandy. We had to push ourselves to keep going. Then the path stopped and we had to remember our way or we could get lost. We kept going and even though the path was gone we came to a beautiful view of Lake Michigan reminding
us of heaven.
After the two hour hike we had mass at St. Philip Neri Church. Before mass, the rosary was led by some young men. In Fr. Libby’s homily, he told a story about how St. Philip helped people in every way he could. He also talked about St. Philip having the altar servers tell him jokes, to keep him from going into ecstasy during the mass.
We finished the day with a bon fire at Empire Beach. After roasting hotdogs and marshmallows by the fire, the boys played a basketball game, while the girls stayed close to the fire.
Then we sang songs about the Great Lakes, the sea, and sailing, while wearing paper sailor hats that we made from newspaper. And Fr. Libby sang an Irish song about not wanting to get up in the morning, reminding us to get up and go to mass in the morning.