Monday, December 02, 2013

Come, let us climb the mountain of the Lord!

Random staff drawn from the collection
at a yamabushi's small mountain temple in Japan. 
This semester has felt like a long climb up a mountain.  There have been amazing views, tough stretches — steep and narrow paths — wonderful companions and the occasional blister.  I've been privileged to teach on mindfulness and contemplation in the 360 program at the college, and enjoyed teaching my favorite class ever (Intro to Quantum Mechanics) for what I think is the 25th time.  I've done a lot of writing for several projects that will come out in the next year or so (a book chapter, several encyclopedia entries, reflections for feasts in 2014, retreat talks), and consequently less writing here.

My book club met last night, we're reading Joyce Rupp's Walking in a Relaxed Manner this month, about her experiences on the Camino.  More broadly we were talking about what it means to go on a pilgrimage.  How is it different from a trip to any other destination — Disneyworld is the one that came to mind — but also from the walking or hiking trips many of us have taken? The title suggests it is a slow process, and that is certainly true in these days of buses and trains and cars, but wasn't true in the medieval period, so it can't all be about the speed.

In some ways this has been a pilgrimage time, walking intentionally into a period of time that I expect to change me, that I know will have its discomforts as well as high moments, one that I explicitly named as a sacred time. But then how is that different from any other period of my life?  Are we always pilgrims?

From the reading at Morning Prayer today: Come, let us climb the mountain of the Lord! (Is 2:3)

1 comment:

  1. You raise an interesting and important question - are we always pilgrims? I think we are a pilgrim people always searching, always looking for the right way. Many times we are unaware of being pilgrims on the journey of life but when we are open to hearing the voice of God and seeing the wonder of God's creation, we realize that we are pilgrims. I pray that I will always be open and will always be content to walk the pilgrim path with our Lord. Thank you for this very inspirational reflection.