Just last week, I felt joy. Yesterday’s prayer revealed bitterness. I’d like to get over my bitterness. I have a choice but sometimes I think that the bad and good must go together in a faith experience. I think it is the reality. I never knew what a pilgrimage was when I was younger. But faith is truly a journey, a pilgrimage. You don’t know what to expect. Parts of the route seem familiar, but you really don’t know. Sometimes bad things happen. You meet bad people. You make bad choices.
One Lent I decided to take a virtual pilgrimage. It was the route that people took in the Middle ages from England to the Holy Land. I put myself in the pilgrims place. Of course, I couldn’t really experience it. But they set out for a long journey in hope but also knowing there would be sacrifice and pain before they would reach their goal. There would be death. I cannot imagine one of the simplest truths of their journey – their feet would really hurt. It was an interesting Lenten journey that year. I lived a risk free journey. I knew it was risk free. There is nothing about faith which is risk free.
And, so, I must accept the bitterness but need to learn to let it go, as much as I need to let go my vanity when I’m successful. I need to forgive. So tonight my prayers during the Novena of Grace will be for priests, nuns and forgiveness. I’m not so far removed from those medieval pilgrims!