Post-Pilgrimage Blues II

Pilgrims enjoy traditional British weather
From Ely Cathedral the pilgrimage group went off singing the Rosary. I'd never even prayed the Rosary in Latin, let alone sing it, but I managed to pick it up as we went along. It actually is more meditative praying it in Latin, I think. On the first day of walking, Fr Bede commented on the horses who came over to see us from a nearby field, noting that they are intrigued by the joyful mysteries,  but "terrified of the sorrowful mysteries".

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
I very much enjoyed talking with the two Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate along the way - Brother Pietro and Brother Peter Julian. It was interesting to learn of their spirituality and the spirituality of their Founder, who was inspired by St Maximilian Kolbe to reform the Friars which led to the creation of a new order - not something which he had originally intended, but I'm sure that St Francis of Assisi, by now, understands that widening in the variety of Franciscan orders is just the way it is going to always be.

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.


Anonymous said…
G'day Bones,

I am an Aussie mate of Paul Smeaton and had originally intended to attend your Walsingham pilgrimage at Paul's urging - but a wedding in Lima, Peru - and a subsequent tours of Cusco, Macchu Picchu and the Amazon intervened!

Paul was inspired by our own Christus Rex Pilgrimage during his time in Oz - the 21st pilgrimage, of which I am a pioneer, being almost upon us again - and modelled yours on ours (which, in turn, drew its inspiration from the revived Paris to Chartres what goes round comes around!).

The comment about the horses' reaction to the joyful and sorrowful mysteries was very droll. We always refer to Aussie livestocks' reaction as being 'Catholic' sheep/horses or Protestant sheep/horses - depending on their reaction.

I also approve, as Paul would confirm, of your precautionary steps in taking hip flask libations with you - together with your morale boosting stops at Taverns. We do this too, in Oz: after all, as I say, the pilgrimage is 'Canterbury Tales', rather than 'Pilgrim's Progress'. Poor, miserable Bunyan: did not anyone tell him about Cana?!

In any case - thanks for your account, and may God bless and reward your efforts in propagating the Faith both in such activities and with your excellent blog, mate.

Best regards,

Tony Pead
Canberra, Australia