Pilgrims on a Journey
Pilgrimage helps us see that as long as we think happiness is around the corner, we have not grasped happiness yet. Because happiness is given in this moment and this place, and this moment and place are as perfect as they can be. —Richard Rohr
Seven years ago I began this blog with the following words:
It is my hope that this blog will be a place where pilgrims like you and like me can share stories and lore, journeying toward a greater understanding of ourselves and our world, as well as a place where reading, marking and inwardly digesting provides conduits for that sharing, signposts for that journey, and bridges for when it is time to cross difficult terrain. February 1, 2016
I named it Pilgrims' Journeys to invite people to recognize that we are all pilgrims on a journey and our stories are part of God's story and essential to understanding God and each other.
Twenty-five years ago, I participated in a pilgrimage to Ireland with 19 women, and I carried with me the question from Psalm 137, "How shall I sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" Any of you who know me, know I have struggled to do that all of my adult life!
Today I depart on a pilgrimage back to Ireland retracing my steps from Glendalough to the Aran Islands with a new question: "How shall I let go and let God?"
I will be joined by four other pilgrims, each of whom has a question also. We will record our thoughts and prayers as we journey, we will visit holy sites visited by Christian pilgrims for hundreds of years and by pre-Christian pilgrims hundreds of years before that. Our purpose is two-fold: to search for an encounter with the Divine, a new and different way to understand God and also to lay the groundwork for future pilgrimages to be offered from St. John's Cathedral.
As a group we have met for many months, preparing, praying and exploring what this journey will be like. We have been guided by words from Richard Rohr and other wise folk which I will offer each day at the beginning of our meditations. Each day I will give you our itinerary so you can journey with us, and perhaps one day you will be one of the pilgrims on the journey.
And so today we begin...I am reminded of T. S. Eliot's words which I have quoted on this blog
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time." from Little Giddings, Four Quartets. .
Since we will not be settled in to our hotel until tomorrow night, I offer you here our schedule until then:
A Pilgrimage to Ireland
11 Days (Dublin, Glendalough, Kildare, and Aran Islands)
Saturday, September 23 – Tuesday, October 3
Saturday, September 23
Sunday, Sept. 24 am Arrive Dublin Airport.
Car reserved Enterprise
Coffee and breakfast
9 – 9:30am – St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 17 min walk to arrive 9:50 Trinity College Bell Tour
10 am reservation, College and Book of Kells ,
put Trinity app on phone
12:00 – Lunch and break
1 – 3 or so National Museum (possible Tour guide Karina) on Kildare Street see famous Celtic artifacts and Glendalough exhibit
3:30pm Travel to Glendalough for (a good night’s sleep after…)
Evening Prayer Glendalough Hotel, Co Wicklow
For obvious reasons, the beautiful song below is our anthem, our prayer, our commitment to this journey. And so we begin, knowing that as Richard Rohr says,
happiness is given in this moment and this place, and this moment and place are as perfect as they can be.
Thank you for sharing our journey with us.