The Spring of Life
The joy of the soul is the strength of life; happiness, love, peace and goodness are the stream that flows in the tranquility of the mind. The health of the body depends on the wellness of the mind. Life without a healthy mind is like a cancer in the cell of one’s life. Imagine the joy and happiness that come with the spring season when, everything begins a new life and the weather becomes very nice. Human life is strengthened, and the birds come to life. The sky is lovely looking, the sun shines, then joy and tranquility radiate the world. People are renewed and new life springs, all the coats, boots and sweaters of the winter will be taken away from the closet. A pilgrimage is a journey one makes to a center or place to feel renewed in life and have a good rest of mind and soul. There is always a good outcome after visiting a place like Holy Land Pilgrimage Center of Renewal at Enugu, Nigeria. The peaceful atmosphere of the environment, the stream, the desert, the mountain, waterfall, the gift shop and the perpetual adoration chapel.
After the stress of the year, during my vacations, I always visit a place to rest and renew my strength before coming back to the busy schedule of daily routine. Thinking of where to go and have calm rest and feel fulfilled. I decided to visit a center for renewal. I usually go to many places, but in 2013, I changed my mind. I decided to visit a pilgrimage center, to see what their activities are like. I was thinking everything would be about prayers, but I found out that it is interesting to visit a place like Renewal Centre Enugu, Nigeria where everything is in place. The joy of the birds singing in the morning and seeing the work of nature when the birds began to sing it’s like angels adoring the Lord in worship; so melodious. Again, the sun rises and shines forth like the stars of the night and the glittering light of the sun gives joy to the soul, blesses the day with strength, happiness and favors.
In addition, the daily activities are awesome. In the chapel of perpetual adoration, we gathered for prayer and celebration of the Holy Mass. The chanting and singing during the prayer and mass was enriching. I felt like it was the best activity I ever had, feeling like in the third heaven, with the melodious, angelic voices of the convent people over there. They motivated my soul and my spirit leapt for joy, and happiness filled my day.
Later, I visited the gift shop. Beautiful things are displayed in the shop, like the Icon of saints, spiritually inspiring books, films and video DVDs. From one point to another, seeing those Icons, beautiful images, and spiritual books well-arranged made me feel strengthened. When I reached the flower display it was wonderful. Oh! What a beautiful garden with uniqueness in colors. Both real and artificial flowers were like the early springs of the flower of life, and smelling the scent made me fulfilled. When I reflect on the gift shop of the pilgrimage center for renewal, the joy that spring from my heart becomes my strength at the time of unhappy moments in my life.
Furthermore, the journey to the mountain also moved my spirit. The group I journeyed with made a happy trip to the mountain, singing with youthful exuberance. Imagine how beautiful and encouraging it was walking with these youths who are fully committed. you feel excited and motivated. We climbed the mountain without feeling stress. Structures for meditation, prayers, reflection and reference were available on the mountain. My thoughts were, “How come all these places were on the mountain? Are people always on this mountain, what happens if nobody is there, and why must people come up to this mountain to see all these beautiful structures?” It reminded me of the scripture Psalm 48: 1–2 “Great is the Lord, most worthy of praise in the city of God, his holy mountain, beautifully elevated, it is the joy of all the earth.” At the valley of the mountain was an overflowing stream that flows to its base for people to drink for strength to continue the journey of the soul.
A desert is a place where not many people live and nothing much interesting happens there. This is not the type of desert I visited at the pilgrimage center for renewal. It is very lovely and quiet place, where we only hear the voice of the birds, sweet sound of the gentle breeze and nature overwhelms the environment. I felt solitude and silence in my heart and the peace of mind. I meditated on the beauty of creation, wondering if the joy that radiates in the desert could be measured with the joy above in the heaven. One section that I found most interesting is the waterfall. Water pours down from mountain to the valley, but no one knows the source of the water or where it flows to. Many people gave testimony about the waterfall that it heals both soul and mind when one dips oneself in the waterfall. My testimony about the waterfall was that it is awesome, but a point of reflection and meditation for me on the wonderful world God created.
In summary, the hope of life is the journey of the living. What a wonderful thing to have a place like the pilgrimage center for renewal Enugu, Nigeria, where life springs and is strengthened for living, the aura of the environment is the morning dew that refreshes the life to begin with love and peace, and the early morning sun is the strength that radiates and empowers one for daily activities in life. There are many good things enriching and encouraging that keep life going that I always reflect on when I feel stressed. I remember that the strength, joy and happiness at the renewal center is far better than whatever stress I may pass through now. So, I feel strengthened and renewed in myself.