Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: back to Galilee


When we talk about going to Galilee, and that place of the first love in our hearts, sometimes a song can bring us back. We all know that on a human level; it doesn’t take a religious person to experience that — music has power. You hear a song, and it was associated with a particular time or moment in your life, it immediately takes you back somewhere – a visit, a vacation, or a family trip.

It could even be a personal, emotional and interior experience of growth. But if that experience is associated with some song, then the moment we hear it, even  after ten or twenty years later, immediately, the song brings us back to that period.  Music can bring us back to our first love.

When I was first coming back to the Church, I remember often hearing the song, “Pescador de Hombres.” I was discovering Jesus, and turning my life around to Him. Everything was changing in my life, by God’s grace. I remember – that song used to pull so strong on my heartstrings.

Another song was, “Here I am, Lord.” I remember hearing that when I had barely just come back to church. I had been away from God, I had been anti-organized religion, anti-Catholicism, and didn’t believe Christ was real, nor did I believe anything about what Christianity said about Him.

I was totally away from anything that had to do with Church life and following Christ. I grew up as a baptized cradle-Catholic, and I would go to church every Sunday as a cultural Catholic, but I was going through the motions, and just going because I had to.

And as I was making my baby steps back to Church, He shared His Love with me, in a way I never experienced before.

When I became a teenager, I left the Church, but as I came back in my own terms, Jesus shared His Love with me. When a song like “Pescador”  or “Here I am Lord,” came on, I could just feel Him pulling out my heart – big time! I would think, “whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-what’s-going-on!

There was this revolution happening.

I felt like, “Whoa! You are going way too fast here, Lord! whoa-whoa-whoa! Hold up, wait a minute!”  For me, these songs, just bring me back to that Galilee, that first love. Songs like that can expand the heart and broaden the horizon of who we are, in the love of God.

In talking about this “horizon of the Love of God,” the “face of God,” Saint Augustine says says that “the further we penetrate into the splendor of Divine Love, the more beautiful it is to pursue our search.”  The deeper we go, the deeper we should want to go.

In other words, the discovery of God’s face is never ending. The further we penetrate into the splendor of divine love, the more beautiful it is to pursue our search, so that the greater the love grows, the further we will seek the One who has been found.


SOURCE: New Mexico Retreat, 2017, “First Love Exodus”

2 thoughts on “Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: back to Galilee”

  1. Thank you Father!!! These songs make us all seek to bring souls to Jesus. One soul at a time. As they encourage us to love in Jesus!!! The Love of Jesus is so
    lovely and wonderful !!!
    God Bless You

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