Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Sunday evening the doorbell rang at The Master's Lodge in Canterbury, the home of the brothers. It was two young men, Jesuit novices on a pilgrimage, looking for a place to stay and food to eat. As part of their formation they take a 6 week walking pilgrimage with £5.00 per day for food. The Catholics didn't have room for them and sent them on to us. I really identified with them! I don't have to beg at strangers' doors to find a place to sleep but that constant moving on, not sure what tomorrow will bring. New people, new foods. A different bed. I think the Taize Community talks about their life as a Pilgrimage of Faith and Trust. they invite young people all over the world to come explore Christian faith and community and learn how to live differently in a polyglot, multi-cultural, interfaith world. Wonderful. Actually it is a happy life, and as any pilgrim knows, the journey itself is the whole point. There have been some highlights in my piltrimage to England. When I arrived the woman at the Currency Exchange asked: "You've come for the Jubilee, then?" To my shame I had to say, "The what?" I hadn't fully taken in the Queens Jubilee was the same weekend. But if there was any doubt whose Jubilee, all that was cleared up in church that next Sunday when the Hilfield Community walked over the hills to Cerne Abbas, to the little church there, and the printed introduction to the Old Testament lesson (Isaiah 6:1-8) said: "The sense of call is very appropriate to the memory of a young woman in Westminster Abbey 60 years ago. She was anointed and crowned with the awesome call in her mind 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" She replied--and still replies, 'Here I am, send me!" Later the local squire served champagne and sparkling water on the lawn of his manor house for all parishioners and they all hoisted a glass, and I heard "Here, here" and "Jolly good!" all around. The English love their Queen. The European Province Chapter was a very happy time. The brothers worked very happily together, and we welcomed a new Ministr Provincial, Brother Benedict. We even watched Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino one night! I preached at Corpus Christi--taking Communion makes us radicals, I said. I'll post it sometime when I get a chance to type it up... From Dorset to Northumberland, where the pilgrimage was all about daily life and finding the sacred in all that. I cooked, cleaned, laughed with the novices, and got a chance to watch the Olympic torch pass through the village and eat blood pudding at a local hostel aferwards. Erp... Worcestershire we walked through the woods to the Severn, imagining waht the green coppices were like 300 years ago when it was a mill and iron foundry, canals and locks and boatw every where. Things change, Nothing is permanent. Amos said of the canals: "in their day they were the Ipads!!" Indeed. Then to Canterbury. Met a friend from California whom I'd last seen in Northern Alaska, when we both worked with the Athabaskan people north of the Artic Cirlce one summer. What a small world. I was saddened to learn Brother Richard Jonathan died suddenly in Connecticut last Friday. Died in his brother's arms, on his mother's birthday (she died just three weeks previously. Bless his heart. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. So the pilgrimage continues. Old friends, new friends. A network of fraternal love and support world-wide. Now to London!!