It’s A Process

Last Sunday we sang Cwm Rhondda.  That great Welsh hymn tune.  One often sung with great gusto by male voice choirs.  But it’s the first two lines of the words that struck me this time: “Guide me, O thou great Redeemer, pilgrim through this barren land.”

When I think of pilgrims and pilgrimages I first think of the great mix of people in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.  Each with a story to tell.  Other people will have fond memories of a personal pilgrimage, say to Iona, Santiago de Compostela, or the Holy Land.

Pilgrimages are journeys with a purpose, to a place we view to be sacred.  Yes, there is a destination, but the travel is equally important.  Indeed it could turn out to be more important.  We may discover more on the journey – about our relationship to ourselves, to others and to God – than at our destination.  Pilgrimage is a process.

We sometimes talk about Lent as a forty day journey.  We could treat it as a pilgrimage towards Easter.  Choosing the stories we read and listen to and the activities we take part in.  Devising our own route and allowing the insights to come. 

Chris Dawson

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