Friends, I've been blessed by this invitation to guest-blog at A Sacred Journey and share some of my thoughts and reflections on pilgrimage and Iona. Today's post is the last of my three-part series as the "Pilgrim in Residence." In this piece, I share what I have sifted down as the essential impetus for going on pilgrimage, but a value that can only be confronted upon returning home. We leave searching for something great and beyond ourselves. We return to find that much of what we had left in search for, is found just beyond our doorsteps when we engage and live on behalf of something other than ourselves.Read More
It has been a joyful opportunity to share about my pilgrimages to Iona, Scotland and further reflections on the Arrival stage of pilgrimage. It always blesses and challenges me to see not just these trips as sacred, but every day of our life. Read on for a piece I wrote for A Sacred Journey that goes deeply into what meets you at the place of your dreams and your desires.
The warm invitation that this island, and its people, extend to new comers is quite profound. There is a very real sense that there are no strangers in our midst. In the context of the single road, the hostel or the beaches, there are ready smiles to lift yours, gregarious laughter rushing out to include you, and generous invitations to share tea, a meal or a bit of chocolate. There is a sense of general community and conviviality that spans generations and gender.Read More
The traveler has important tasks upon arriving to their final destination. Because the entire journey has been intentionally marked and prayerfully pondered, so must the arrival. This is the time to surround yourself with prayers, poems and hymns that anchor your place and provide the touchstone for this final experience.Read More
That ultimate sense of wonder within the experience is what drives so many people to engage in [these] rigorous trials. Father Stephen Canny, an Irish priest who leads a parish in Santa Rosa, California, believes strongly in the effectiveness of pilgrimage. He has climbed Croagh Patrick, a popular pilgrimage site and storied mountain in Ireland, three times himself and has seen it work wonders on the devoted. "You are more alive after you have overcome something difficult," he says. "You're changed by the mountain and the fact that you have confirmed your faith. It's a remarkably effective way to answer the question, What is my purpose?"Read More