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The TV series “China Beach” was a nostalgic retrospection on faces and reflections of the Viet Nam War era. It used the song “Reflections” as its theme. Some years ago I would know when “China Beach” was on because a few of my daughters used to exercise their vocal chords with a strange mixture of harmony to sing loudly that song, as if in their very brief lives, they had had previous experiences which caused them to relate to the words of that song. They were only 8 and 6 at the time!

Perhaps in the history of your pilgrimage, you have had a “China Beach: a place where you have been severely tried and tested, a place of bruising battle and protracted pain – “China Beach”; a place where you had to stand your ground and defend your principles or practices. In a very real sense, every growing saint has had his/her “China Beach.” And occasionally, present faces cause you to reflect on previous experiences. Every now and then you run upon a face that reminds you of a past experience, and you reflect again on that experience.

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