Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Wednesday, July 20

This post is linked to The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime, pp. 262-263, or click here.

"Happy are the people whose strength is in you! whose hearts are set on the pilgrim's way." This Refrain in our Morning Office comes from a psalm for pilgrims (Ps 84). Pilgrim psalms, and there are others, are prayers written for those who leave home, travel and face danger and isolation, in order to find the greater joy of dwelling in the house of the Lord.

I have never made a specific pilgrimage as others have. Like going off to Israel and being a pilgrim walker or through some terrain in Italy or to sacred sites in France or Poland or Germany or England or Spain. My pilgrimages, to Assisi or to York Minister in England or to visit an author's home, have been short episodes. I've not been in danger, but I would say they have been intense visits with lasting impressions.

But, as you well know, the writer of Hebrews sees our entire life as a pilgrimage. Hebrews 11 is filled with thoughts like this. What pilgrims most long for is strength, and the risk they take and the dangers they face are undertaken with the challenge that they will have to trust the Lord for protection and provision.

Someday, as we pilgrimage our way through this life, we will dwell with the Lord and we will find that "leaving home" was well worth it because the Father's house is not only our pilgrimage destination but what our home on earth was anticipating.