wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
I spent this weekend on pilgrimage to Walsingham, location of one of the most significant Anglo-Catholic shrines in England. It was an extraordinary weekend, and I feel gloriously refreshed in spirit.

I was deeply honoured to be asked to serve as thurifer for the pilgrimage mass on Saturday, and whilst slightly nerve-wracking, as serving somewhere new always is, it was also deeply moving, and I think I managed not to get anything wrong. It will live long in my memories.

Later that evening was the procession of Our Lady of Walsingham around the grounds of the shrine, which was exquisitely beautiful - scores of pilgrims bearing candles and singing a hymn telling the history of the shrine. One lovely thing is that the sound of the organ is transmitted to speakers all around the shrine, so the frequent difficulty with processions where all the singers get out of time with one another is overcome.

Following the procession was a service of healing ministries, where I partook of the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time since just before my confirmation, more than eleven years ago. For years I've been wanting to avail myself of it again, but somehow the longer it's been since the last one, the harder it gets, and so whenever it came up I found an excuse, or just didn't get around to it. And now I feel like such a fool for that failure. Afterwards I walked around the shrine grounds, feeling as though any moment a breeze could sweep me away, such a heavy burden had been lifted. I am determined, now, to make it a regular habit.

I picked up a couple of books whilst I was there. First was The Lion's World - an edited transcription of a series of sermons by Great-grandfather Rowan on the Narnia books, which flawed as they are, were an important part of my spiritual development. I read that over the course of the weekend, and it moved me deeply, and now I'm re-reading the series keeping his insights in mind. The second, which I have only scratched the surface of so far, was recommended by Bishop Lindsay, the Shrine Administrator - The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, by Fr James Martin, SJ. For most of my life as an adult Christian I've felt a certain pull towards the Jesuits and the Ignation approach to spirituality, and based on the first couple of chapters I am very much looking forward to reading the rest and incorporating it into my life.

Date: 2015-04-13 06:44 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] lavendersparkle
lavendersparkle: (Candles)
Excuse me for my impertinence, but I've been wondering for a while how and when you came back to faith. The last I saw was this post and then I noticed that you received at [personal profile] the_alchemist's wedding and always wondered what had happened.

Date: 2015-04-13 03:03 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] lavendersparkle
lavendersparkle: Jewish rat (Default)
Ah, I either missed that post or read it and blanked it as it was 10 days after I gave birth.

Date: 2015-04-13 03:54 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] sfred
sfred: (Default)
I'm glad it was such a good thing for you.

I've put The Lion's World on my to-read list :-)

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wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
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