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Thoughts on Pilgrimage
Wednesday 26th June 2019
The Bible suggests that spiritual life is a journey. Through the centuries, pilgrims have gone on pilgrimage to find inspiration, to find a new direction in life and for healing. Life is a process of continual change and movement from one state of being to another. Our physical journey is mirrored by an inward journey from the head to the heart. Going on pilgrimage is a rare time when we can just be ourselves. We may not even know who we truly are, so it might be a journey to our lesser known self, our true self. Where we discover who we are, what really matters to us and how to live authentically in line with our true self because it is through living like this that we will find peace. Pilgrimage has always involved risk, uncertainty and unexpected outcomes. Through these things come understanding and growth.
The silence we witness, as Gerard W Hughes notes, is not the noisy kind of silence we keep when in the city, where we try to avoid all the noisy distractions. The silence of The Way is of a different quality. There is no need to practice silence there, rather the silence takes hold of us. God is everywhere and is there in mystery. There is space and time to relish this truth. Being alone in this landscape makes you meditate on our smallness, leading us to a sense wonder and abandonment of life and gratitude for it. In the context of this vastness we realise we actually have much less control over life than we thought. This makes it easier to give up control to the infinity of God and enables us to take decisions to move into uncharted territory. What appears likes taking the safe and secure option in life is not necessarily safe and secure after all, so we become free to take decisions to do the things in life that we really want to.
(Image: St Brides, Pembrokeshire)