a priest's musings on the journey

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day 3 Pilgrimage to Iona...

This morning we worshiped with the Iona Community, beginning morning prayers in the St Michael Chapel, and processing to the Abbey for the beginning of Spring worship in the Abbey. After the service, we were invited to remain in the abbey and explore and pray. I sat in the choir and soaked in the holiness of the place, wondering about all of those holy people of God who had prayed on that holy ground in ages past- and all of the people of God who gather there today to continue in the tradition of prayer and service.

After our private time in the chapel, we went to Spar and bought food. We decided to buy community food that all could share, and we agreed that each would take a part in preparing the meal or cleaning up afterwards. We each grabbed a bag and walked the mile journey to the hostel- thankful for the crisp, sunny morning- and prepared a picnic on a rock. It was during our lunch that one of the students began to share an epiphany she had discovered in the hotel in Glasgow. Because her shower wouldn't work, she decided to take a bath, and as she sank under the water she could hear her heartbeat- and in those waters she began to consider the connection with water and life. She realized the sanctity of water, and understood why so many religions used water in their rituals because of the power it conveys.

She thought of her baptism- and she remembered the Muslim practice of taking a ritual bath before beginning a pilgrimage- and she was grateful that her broken shower forced her to take a bath. So, as she washed her body, she prayed and asked the Spirit to make her heart clean and to prepare her for what gifts God would offer her on this pilgrimage.

The afternoon was spent in private prayer, and as it was a sunny afternoon, I took my journal and headed for a hike to the southern side of the island- since I hear God more clearly outdoors, I was eager to amble around the thin places of Iona and listen.... I walked and climbed on top of a rock which allowed me to see the vast sea, the ancient rocks and the rolling green Iona hills, and I sat... offered a prayer of thanksgiving, took up my pen and started to write- what ended up being a hymn of praise for the creation.... (maybe I'll share it later- but for now it's just for me).

:: posted by Padre Rob+, 6:25 PM


So, it took me till this set of posts to realize I could click and enlarge the photos.

Now I see! Gorgeous. Thank you.
Blogger Jane R, at 6:49 AM  

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