When my best friend, Eynar, a volunteer in the
Assumptionist community in Plovdiv, suggested that I visit him in
Bulgaria during my vacation, I could have never imagined how
meaningful this trip would become for my personal and spiritual
I arrived from a distant country (Mexico), knowing neither the
people nor the language. Nevertheless, from the start I was welcomed
as one of the family and during this time that I lived with the
Assumptionists in Plovdiv I began to discover different messages the
Lord was sending me.
Above all, I came to appreciate the value of
humility. When I arrived, the ordinary criteria of a materialistic world (age,
studies, know-how, experience, etc.) disappeared. Here, while rendering
small services, I have been able to discover that a personís value is
linked to what he can give and, in so doing, he will receive his reward.
My reward: to have shared the wisdom, the prayer and
the knowledge of the Assumptionist fathers, the kindness and the hard work
of the Sisters, the enthusiasm of the young, and the friendliness of the
Here in the community where work and reward are lived in a spirit of
gratuity I had the experience of living as Jesus invites us to do. Isnít
that the way all of human society should live?
Experiencing the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Rite was another key
element, especially given the fact that I come from a culture rich in
symbolism. The importance of icons, the solemnity of the celebrations
allowed me to be in touch with the Lord and to know that he is there with
us in the Eucharist, sharing with us his holiness and giving us his
blessings. Moreover, I had the wonderful opportunity to be here for the
celebration of the three Bulgarian martyrs, originally from this parish. I
pray that their example will help me along my way in the future.
I will leave with so many memories: the smiles of the children who I
visited at the home run by the sisters of Mother Teresa and sisters
themselves; the satisfaction of joining the young people of the parish in
the play they presented on the occasion of the feast of the three
Bulgarian martyrs; the time spent with other brothers and lay friends of
the Assumption who had come from Romania and Italy; and the fact that I
was able to share a little bit of my culture by preparing a Mexican meal
and presenting our traditions for All Saints and All Souls.
I think that I have had an experience reserved for those called by the
Lord and that this was an extraordinary opportunity for me. I pray that
others may have an experience like mine in an Assumptionist community and
that the lay-Assumptionist alliance may grow for the sake of the coming of
the Kingdom of God.
I would like to thank the Plovdiv community with all my heart and I pray
that God will shower them with his blessings.
Jorge Ramon Abascal