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Za konec maja in začetek junija sem načrtoval svoj najljubši način dopustovanja, potovanje s kolesom. Razlog za ta nekoliko nenavaden termin je bil dokaj preprost: v poletnih mesecih se mi obetajo številna srečanja, ki se jih bom udeležil, vmes pa težko našel kakšen prost dan. Izvorno sem si zamislil, da bi lahko dopust združil z daljšo službeno potjo, a se je načrt v zadnjem trenutku podrl. Znašel sem se pred dejstvoma, da imam oprtano kolo ter dva prosta tedna. Kaj torej storiti? Polglasno sem izrekel Pavlovo spodbudo ter jo vzel za svojo: “Vsi, ki se dajo voditi Božjemu Duhu, so Božji sinovi” (Rim 8,14), predvsem v njenem prvem delu. Postavil sem se pred Gospoda in se mu izročil v vodstvo. Zares hecna situacija. Nisem bil pred véliko odločitvijo, za katero bi potreboval čas in mnogo premoljenih ur, temveč sem se moral za naslednji trenutek odločiti, v katero smer se želim odpeljati na dopust. Izgovarjajoč Pavlovo vrstico sem sklenil, da sem sin lahko kjerkoli, zato sem se namenil odpraviti kar od doma, Duh pa naj me vodi iz dneva v dan. Ko sem bil že na kolesu in ko je (ponovno) začelo deževati, sem le moral priznati, da je letošnji maj mnogo premoker in dosti premrzel za kolesarsko potovanje. Vrnil sem se domov in sklenil prespati do naslednjega dne. Še prej sem preveril vreme in ugotovil, da bo vsaj nekaj naslednjih dni južna stran Alp toplejša in bolj suha kot njihovi severni predeli. Za 20€ sem kupil karto do Celovca, kjer sem se znašel ob treh popoldan. V času vožnje z vlakom sem postal gotov, da bom šel proti Sloveniji. Ker nisem hotel predolgo ostati na avstrijski strani, sem se moral obrniti proti Železni Kapli in nato levo čez Pavličevo sedlo. Od zadnjega odcepa pa vse do sedla nisem srečal nikogar. Dnevne svetlobe in toplote je bilo z vsakim trenutkom manj, snega pa z vsakim metrom več. Ko sem dosegel sedlo, sem si nadel vse, kar sem imel pri sebi, vključno s čelno svetilko. Spustil sem se do Logarske doline in tik pred deseto zvečer vrgel kamenček v okno sobe, v kateri je gorela luč. Sestre so me prijazno sprejele in prenočile. Preden sem se naslednji dan po maši in zajtrku od njih poslovil, so mi mimo grede povedale, da novoimenovani celjski škof msgr. Maksimilijan Matjaž prihaja k njim na duhovne vaje, nato pa stopi v stolno cerkev k posvečenju. Novica je preletela pogovor kot kakšno letalo, ki ga vidiš, ne pa tudi zares opaziš. Ko sem dopoldan končno pognal kolo, sem se takoj zatem ob bližnji cerkvici spet ustavil. V tistem trenutku sem ponovno izrekel: vsi, ki se dajo voditi Božjemu Duhu

Nenadoma sem razumel, zakaj par dni pred tem nisem uspel prepričati letališkega osebja, da mi izdajo vstopni kupon in zakaj sem se v mrzlem dežju nekje blizu Münchna odločil, da ne nadaljujem poti po tisti cesti. Oboje se je zgodilo v popolnem miru, nisem pa razumel čemú. Tega nisem razumel niti prejšnji večer, ko sem se v temi spuščal s sedla v dolino. Kako to, da se odpravim na zasluženi dopust, pa se vsa vrata preprosto zaprejo? Stoječ na začetku Logarske doline sem spoznal čemu in posledično sklenil: voden po Božjem Duhu opuščam idejo o dopustu in postajam sin Cerkve, ki moli in na binkoštni praznik (ki smo ga praznovali čez par dni) prenavlja svoje otroke, začenši z njenim izbranim sinom Maksimilijanom, ki naj prejme breme apostolske službe. Neposredno z njim sicer nisem povezan, razen čemur človek ne more uiti, da sem bil namreč rojen v celjski škofiji. Ko sta se najini poti v Logarski dolini tako rekoč prekrižali, pač nisem imel druge izbire, kot da sem v tem prepoznal vodstvo in povabilo Božjega Duha. Sklenil sem, da bom z vsakim trenutkom prihodnjih dni, vse do škofovskega posvečenja, doživljal in delal enako kot Pavel: “Zdaj se veselim, ko trpim za vas ter s svoje strani dopolnjujem v svojem mesu, kar primanjkuje Kristusovim bridkostim, in to v prid njegovemu telesu, ki je Cerkev” (Kol 1,24). V tem trenutku ne nosim posebnega trpljenja, le normalne stiske vsakdanjega življenja. Mislim pa, da se Pavel ni toliko ukvarjal z jakostjo trpljenja, kot bolj z dejstvom, da lahko kot ud Cerkve sodeluje pri njenem odrešitvenem delu, za blagoslov tistih, ki bodo izkusili novo rojstvo. Jasno je, da Gospodovim brdkostim ne manjka nič takega, zaradi česar ne bi mogli prejeti polnosti sinovstva in hčerinstva; pač pa mu manjka moja privolitev. Tako se je zgodilo, da sem se na vseh poteh tistega tedna tako ali drugače vračal k njej ter jo obnavljal. In razumel, da je njen prvi sad veselje, kot je potrdil Pavel.

Na nedeljo Svete Trojice, to je 30. maja, je bilo v Gornjem gradu škofovsko posvečenje, mašo je prenašala nacionalna televizija. Popoldan pred tem sem se pripeljal do Olimja, kjer so me patri minoriti nadvse prijazno sprejeli in mi ponudili, da lahko ostanem toliko časa, kolikor potrebujem. Logično se mi je zdelo, da imam na dan posvečenja počitek in da dogodek na televiziji spremljam v živo. Teden pred posvečenjem sem preživel umaknjen od sveta in ljudi ter s tem odprt za molitveno ozračje, zato sem tako preživel tudi škofovsko posvečenje. Odmaknil sem se od ljudi, da bi ob spremljanju vélikega dogodka doživel njegovo bistvo, lepoto Cerkve. Tako je tudi bilo. Zame osebno tako rekoč pretresljivo. Najprej seveda zato, ker je bila to dopolnitev preteklega tedna, ki se je iztekel popolnoma nenadejano. Nadalje pa tudi zato, ker sem v dogodku gledal vso lepoto Cerkve, v kateri sem postal in postajam sin. Novoposvečeni škof je v zahvalni besedi izrekel tole: Oče, poveličaj svoje ime! (Jn 12,28)Jezusovo temeljno poslanstvo je bilo, da pritegne človeka nazaj v občestvo z Bogom, da razodene Boga kot Očeta vseh ljudi, da podeli slehernemu dostojanstvo Božjega otroka. »Vsem, ki so Besedo sprejeli, je ta dala moč, da postanejo Božji otroci« (Jn 1,12).

Ps. V času prostih dni sem s kolesom dejansko križaril po vzhodnem delu Slovenije. V trinajstih dneh na kolesu sem prevozil 945 km ter premagal nekaj več kot 15000 višinskih metrov.

English

Pilgrimaging in Celje

I was planning a bike trip, my favorite way of taking a vacation, for the end of May and the beginning of June. The reason for this unusual date was quite simple: I will have attended numerous meetings during the summer months, so it will be challenging to find a day off. I initially thought I could combine a vacation with a long business trip at the beginning of June, but the plan fell in at the last minute. I found myself faced with the fact that I strapped the bags onto the bicycle frame and that I had two weeks off. So what should I do? I uttered Paul’s exhortation and took it as my own: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God” (Rom 8:14), especially in its first part. I stood before the Lord and surrendered myself to His guidance. A hilarious situation. I wasn’t facing a big decision that would take time and many hours spent in prayers. Still, I had to decide for the very next moment which direction I wanted to go on vacation. Saying out loud Paul’s line, I decided that I could be a son anywhere, so I set out to leave home and let the Spirit guide me from day to day. When I was already on my bike and (yet again) started to rain, I just had to admit that May 2021 was too wet and too cold for a bike trip. I returned home and decided to sleep on it. I checked the weather earlier and found that the southern side of the Alps will be warmer and drier than its northern parts for at least the next few days. I bought a ticket to Klagenfurt for 20€, where I found myself at 3 PM. During the train ride, I became sure that I would go to Slovenia. Since I didn’t want to stay on the Austrian side for too long, I had to turn towards Železna Kapla and then left towards the saddle of Pavlič. I didn’t meet anyone from the last turn until the saddle. There was less daylight and heat with each passing moment and more snow with each meter. When I reached the saddle, I put on everything I had with me, including the headlamp. I drove down to the valley of Logar just before 10 PM, and I threw a pebble into the window of the only room where the light was on. It was the house of the sisters of Christ the Redeemer. The sisters kindly received me, and I could spend the night in their place. Before I said goodbye to them the next day after Mass and breakfast, they told me that the newly appointed Bishop of Celje, Msgr. Maksimilijan Matjaž visits them for retreat, after which he will go to the cathedral church for consecration. The news was like an airplane: it flew over the conversation; I heard it but did not notice. When I finally started riding my bike in the morning, I stopped right next to a nearby church. At that moment, I said again: all who are led by the Spirit of God …

I suddenly understood why I had failed to convince the airport staff a couple of days ago to issue me a boarding pass. Why, in the cold rain somewhere near Munich, I had decided not to continue my journey down that road. I was entirely in peace when those things happened, but I didn’t quite understand why. I didn’t even understand this the night before when I descended from the saddle into the valley. How come I go on a well-deserved vacation and all the doors just close? Standing at the beginning of the valley of Logar, I realized why and consequently concluded: guided by the Spirit of God, I abandon the idea of vacation and am becoming a son of the Church who prays and renews her children on the feast of Pentecost (which was to be celebrated in a couple of days from then), beginning with her chosen son Maksimilijan to receive the burden of the apostolic ministry. I am not directly connected with him, except that one cannot escape, that I was born in the diocese of Celje. When our paths crossed in the valley of Logar, so to speak, I had no choice but to recognize the guidance and invitation of the Spirit of God. I decided to do the same way as Paul did, every moment of the days to come, all the way to the episcopal ordination: “I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col 1:24). At the moment, I do not bear any particular suffering except the usual hardships of everyday life. However, I think that Paul was not so much concerned with the intensity of his grief. He was amazed that, as a member of the Church, he may participate in its redemptive work. The Lord’s suffering is not lacking anything to prevent us from receiving the fullness of the divine kinship, but he lacks my consent. And so it happened that on all the paths of that week, I was going back to my consent. Paul understood that its first fruit was joy, as he confirms at the beginning of the verse.

On May 30, the feast of the Holy Trinity, an episcopal consecration, was held in Gornji grad. The national television broadcasted the Mass. The afternoon before I arrived in Olimje, the Fathers Conventuals received me very kindly. They offered me to stay as long as I needed to. It seemed logical that I had a rest on the day of consecration and watched the live event on television. I spent the last week withdrawn from the world and people and thus open to a prayerful atmosphere, so that’s how I wanted to experience the ordination. As I watched this great event, I distanced myself from the people to experience its essence, the Church’s beauty. I would go so far as to say that it was stunning. First of all, of course, because it was a culmination of the whole past week that came to an end entirely unexpectedly. Furthermore, because I saw all the Church’s beauty, in which I became and am becoming a son. The newly ordained bishop said this in a word at the end of the Mass: Father, glorify your name! (Jn 12:28) Jesus’ fundamental mission was to draw man back into communion with God, to reveal God as the Father of all men, to give everyone the dignity of a child of God. “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God” (Jn 1:12).

Ps. During my free days, I cycled around the eastern part of Slovenia. In thirteen days on a bike, I cycled 945 km and made an ascent of just over 15,000 meters.

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