Heather in Rome

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. - St. Augustine

Thursday, May 18

A Franciscan Pilgrimage

Ahhhh, time spent in the great outdoors; how I love it. Last week we were told that the school would spend two days this week following the footprints of St. Francis by walking to four sanctuaries where Francis spent time during his life. My ears perked up immediately. This would be my type of trip. I knew some in the school wouldn't feel the same excitement about walking 4-6 hours per day through the Umbria countryside, but I was loving the idea.

Let me tell you, it was exactly what I needed. Before going, I was stressed about the future, wondering what I will do for a job when I get home and if I made the wrong decision about Camp Gray. I love being in nature and after spending time in it during the silent retreat, I was questioning why I chose to deny a job that would let me be in it. The doubt was occupying my mind quite a bit, but after talking with my spiritual companion on Monday night and doing the walk on Tuesday and Wednesday, I have peace with the unknown future. Something about hiking and praying at Franciscan sanctuaries (after all, he was a great preacher of peace) combined to soothe the soul.

I realized why I like hiking so much. Besides the visual beauty that can be taken in at the pace of a walk, there is time to think and time not to think at the same time. I guess it depends on what mood you are in. For example, when I'm stressed about the future there is time to think about what is really important to me in a job, what will bring me fulfillment and allow me to contribute to the common good at the same time, etc. These are important things to think about and while walking there is a lot of time to mull over them. At the same time, though, time stands still when I'm hiking. The focus is on that day and how long you have to walk and how your feet feel and are you drinking enough water. You really live in the moment so your mind is not concerned as much with what will happen a month later. It fits with the message of Matthew 6:34: "So do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." That's one of the reasons why I like hiking. Ah, heaven.

Before I sign off, a week or two ago the school got to visit the Congregation on Divine Liturgy. Who is the head of this congregation? Cardinal Arinze, the African who was one of the front runners for Pope during the last conclave. He was amazing. He joked with us, told the truth as it is, yet said it in a friendly way. It was great to get some answers on Liturgy from the top guy himself.


  • At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Heather. Glad you are feeling more peaceful about the unknown. I am certain that God has something magnificent coming your way. Thanks so much for helping Andrew with his Missionary project!! Love ya,


Post a Comment

<< Home