So then, I’ve now had nearly two days to recover, its time to think about whether I’ve learned anything from the walking pilgrimage. I guess now I’ve had a chance to recuperate its so easy to slip into the post christian event blues.
I’ve learned that prayer out loud is better than prayer in the head. Prayer in the head is ephemeral and intangible, whereas prayer out loud is prayer given form and seems more wholesome to the mind and spirit. Quite simply it is just getting on with it, whereas prayer in my head can just be an extended form of fretting. The question is how do I do this in my day to day life? I’m terrible at praying out loud on my own and I don’t have the offices of the day printed out in sheets ready for the days reading… hmmm I wonder if I could get them on the kindle?
The future of the Catholic Church is going to depend upon people coming together. The ordinariate needs to be given more encouragement. They are through the doors now, they are with us, this is a great opportunity for the Church and the grass roots need to embrace it. If the grass roots embrace it then maybe the Bishops of England and Wales will follow suit. A small dedicated group of people can do amazing things. Like walk 50 miles to Walsingham. I’m betting a small dedicated group can do similar things in the life of our Church.
I think living the Christian life with joy and prayer will lead naturally and inexorably to loving evangelisation. Our mere existence is an affront to the world’s broken values. We can’t put the cart before the horse on that one, so we should stop worrying about converting the world, we will change the world simply by our presence, our persistence and our prayer.
I think there are several things that our group had in common, love of God, love of the virgin Mary, and love of the pope. The importance of the last of these can’t be underestimated. The pilgrimage was named the JP2 pilgrimage, but I’ve only been a Catholic under B16 and I absolutely love the current pope. It was so good to be surrounded by people wanting to follow his leadership in loving obedience. We are so lucky with our present pope and the more the Church cleaves to Peter the better.
Finally I’ve been reassured that the faith we share is the most vibrant religion in the world, we have the creme de la creme of religions. Nothing compares to it. Seeing Catholicism done well for just a few days is such an amazing experience. Heaven will be amazing!