As our year long Pilgrimage concluded with the celebration of Pentecost, I want to profoundly thank our staff, Grace Guides and volunteers. I am deeply grateful for our collaboration with Soul Play and our partners Dr. Terry Nelson-Johnson (TNJ) and his Soul Play team for animating so much of the adventure SO FAR.
It is sometimes difficult for me to articulate what the Pilgrimage and Adventure is, so I was moved during my long flight from Edinburgh, Scotland to Chicago and I wrote the following poem. I hope it helps those of you who were engaged in the pilgrimage to treasure some of your experience and perhaps pique the curiosity of those of you who have yet to join us.
Grace, Gift, Adventure and Pilgrimage
Life’s story brings a certain order
some things long and some things shorter.
But what if through grace the sequence changed
And life’s unfolding becomes rearranged?
So let’s consider many things,
like short so often starts the long,
and light was there before the dark
that we don’t live in history, but history lives in us
and when it comes to gives and takes,
what a day a difference makes
Consider our gesture of blessing things,
like bread and wine and water
and deepen our appreciation
for water’s pervasive blessing of us.
And when we credit water more,
we also credit the source,
because everything we have
is a gift of God’s unfolding course.
And this first maker God of ours
so diligently stirs our souls and
inspired Holy Family to a great adventure of grace.
TNJ, Soul Play and our Holy Family way
have teamed to suggest a different flow
and to give what follows some prayerful thought:
• Sacraments don’t simply supply the grace, but grace is the font of the sacred’s flow
• Seven moments can’t contain, all of the grace of our Kingdom’s reign
• So our precious Sacramental chain we now see with a different lens….
Drenched is before Baptism
Affirmed predates Confirmation
Mercied precedes Anointing and Reconciliation
Committed roots Marriage and Priesthood
• And most importantly Fed feeds the hunger for more through the Eucharist of life
Sacraments are not for consumption,
but mediated through grace anew
Looking at them as only nouns
can foster a puny view.
We have been pilgrims along the font and path, the passport and the song,
Base Camp, Trail Mix and stops to rest.
Kiddie Pool to Celebration, very rich stories
and personal sharing between
the brownies, bubbles, rocks and brick
have all to sacred led.
We’ve placed our hands on holy bread,
to remind us what’s ahead.
We’ve laughed and pondered and gazed anew, and held each others’ cross.
We’ve cried the tears of profundity,
and danced the Pentecost.
We are not the source of realization,
but the result of foundational love
Realizing ever full of grace,
the reality of Christ with us.
Being happy God is in our life
provides a starting point,
But we dig deep by gratitude
for the one God three in life
instigator of all, given in Christ,
manifest in the Holiest Spirit
sacredly, authentically and uniquely
in the Eucharist
So the first love was God’s – not ours,
but may we never forget
the dwelling of a love divine
is that which remains in us
Please be grateful for a Pilgrimage
that gave us many gifts
and look to others promised
in adventure lying ahead.