Monday, 23 May 2016

The gift of joy

As the days progressed before my departure for this pilgrimage I reflected that it would coincide with the Feast of Pentecost. The three months from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost have been a time of great pastoral activity in the parish made more intense by the celebration of the Holy Year of Mercy.
Not only did I feel the need for a break, but also for some spiritual replenishment. Tomorrow will be my eighth day of walking ( the traditional length of a short retreat). As the days have developed I have sensed the spiritual graces in this pilgrimage for myself.
On Friday, in Valenca, it came upon me as an overwhelming sense of joy. Today, as we wandered through the woods I felt a similar sense of joy. Now joy features prominently in the bible. In one of the Psalms for Compline we pray: 'You have put into my heart a greater sense of joy than they have from an abundance of corn and new wine.' Now those of you who know me well know that I like both food and good wine! The joy spoken of here is much more profound. In the letters of Paul it becomes on of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And so it is, on my Pentecost pilgrimage that I receive the gift of joy. Camino blessings

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