Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Well Said: Pilgrimage and Spaces of Prayer

... the pilgrims who, still today, ascend this "holy staircase" on their knees to glimpse beyond the grate the untouchable space of the "Holy of Holies" are people who have come from afar to mount the stairs that have been moved in order to see relics brought from elsewhere and a portable icon. In this case especially it is clear that the "space of prayer" is that which pilgrims themselves define as they relive in their hearts the passion of One who presented himself as the new "temple" and personal "holy place" of all who believe in him, Jesus Christ.
Timothy Verdon, Art & Prayer
As you know I am supposed to go on a Holy Land pilgrimage with Diana Von Glahn next spring. I say "supposed to" because participation thus far is very low and we may not have enough to fill the tour, in which case it is off.

I'm not sure why there is low participation because of all the people I'd want to travel with, Diana is tops on my list. Outside of family that is. Let's get real, after all.

Seriously though, anyone who's ever watched her Faithful Traveler show knows how great it would be to have her company anywhere, much less on a pilgrimage. If you are at all interested, I encourage you to check out the pilgrimage and sign up! The deadline is in January so we have time to fill it up, but not if everyone hangs back too long.

At any rate, I have been thinking about what a pilgrimage means in terms of travel so much that I'd forgotten what author Timothy Verdon points out above. Physical space is important to prayer and to pilgrimage. But it is what the pilgrim brings in their hearts which defines the "space of prayer."

Isn't that what God reminds us of again and again? It is what is inside us that defines the import of what  comes out of us, whether actions or words or any other physical element.

I have no great revelations to share based on this. But I ponder it.

1 comment:

  1. I would have loved to join the pilgrimage but already had travel plans for 2015. (Rome, to be exact, for a reunion of the institute I studied at long ago.) I hope your trip "makes" because I want to hear all about it.