|Pilgrims enjoy traditional British weather|
On the first day of walking we experienced a few downpours and it was quite late in the day when I managed to obtain a stick by the side of the road to help me walk. Looking back, the stick option is a bit of a cheating exercise, since it obviously takes quite a bit of body weight off, but I'm not sure I could have made it if I hadn't used it. Half way through the first day, I was telling anyone who wanted to listen that this is the first and the last time I ever go on a walking pilgrimage again. I hadn't really thought about what I was letting myself in for. We stopped off at a couple of places, including a pub where I had a penitential packet of Nobby's Nuts and a pint of real ale.
We walked along a beautiful river for a large proportion of the day and it was lovely to see so much wide open countryside. We stayed at a village school hall where we were able to have a shower and some food, but despite my 'youth' I was last home, so comforted myself with thoughts of the 'first shall be last...'. I didn't think I would be able to walk the next day, but it is amazing how the body can recover with a night's sleep helped by a couple of swigs of whiskey which I had surreptitiously packed in my bag.
|Friars of the Immaculate|
They are very orthodox, ascetic and take a vow of total consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as well as vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Apparently the Third Order, while not taking the three traditional vows, also makes a vow of total consecration to Our Lady. They are very inspiring. It is their view that all of the errors within the Church would disappear if the whole Faithful consecrated themselves daily to the Immaculate Heart of Mary...Perhaps we could collectively send Archbishop Conti the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by St Louis de Montfort. He looks like he could do with it, but then, couldn't we all? China do enforced sterilisations and abortions. Archbishop Conti does enforced standing to receive communion, but it looks like, in Archbishop Conti's case, the 'errors of Russia' have spread to his own Diocese.