What is life if not a journey? We each make our own way. And though our paths vary, we have this in common: we are travelers, one and all. We are pilgrims.
It is said: “if the shoe fits, wear it.” I’ll modify that just a bit and say “if the prayers I’ve collected and copied below ‘fit,’ then pray them.” I put them here for quick personal reference, so that I could find them easily. If they work for you, too, then we share yet another bond.
I’ll add here that I am humbled, awed, and ever so grateful for all the prayers that have been promised for me, Barb, and Ginny as we make our way along the Camino. And here I thought I was the one who would be doing the praying! Once more, I’m being reminded that we are one big family, called to look out for one another in a huge variety of ways!
And now, a few prayers. Maybe I’ll be editing this post as we move along and I come upon something that strikes me as worthy of sharing. You might check back later…..
Sent to Joyce Rupp by Macrina Wiederkehr (and included in the introduction to Rupp’s Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino):
May flowers spring up where your feet touch the earth.
May the feet that walked before you bless your every step.
May the weather that’s important be the weather of your heart.
May all of your intentions find their way into the heart of God.
May your prayers be like flowers strewn for other pilgrims.
May your heart find meaning in unexpected events.
May friends who are praying for you carry you along the way.
May friends who are praying for you be carried in your heart.
May the circle of life encircle you along the way.
May the broken world ride on your shoulders.
May you carry your joy and your grief in the backpack of your soul.
May you remember all the circles of prayer throughout the world.
THE PILGRIM PRAYER (written by Joyce Rupp and Tom Pfeffer, included in Rupp’s book mentioned above):
Guardian of my soul,
guide me on my way this day.
Keep me safe from harm.
Deepen my relationship with you,
your Earth, and all your family.
Strengthen your love within me
that I may be a presence of your peace
in our world.
PILGRIM’S PRAYER (by Fraydino; a postcard gifted to me by Maureen Mahan):
Although I may have traveled all the roads, crossed mountains and valleys from East to West, if I have not discovered the freedom to be myself, I have arrived nowhere.
Although I may have shared all of my possessions with people of other languages and cultures, made friends with Pilgrims of a thousand paths, or shared albergues [hostels] with saints and princes, if I am not capable of forgiving my neighbor tomorrow, I have arrived nowhere.
Although I may have carried my pack from beginning to end and waited for every Pilgrim in need of encouragement, or given my bed to one who arrived later than I, given my bottle of water in exchange for nothing. if upon returning to my home and work I am not able to create brotherhood or to make happiness, peace and unity, I have arrived nowhere.
Although I may have had food and water each day, and enjoyed a roof and shower every night, or may have had my injuries well attended, if I have not discovered in all that the love of God, I have arrived nowhere.
Although I may have seen all the monuments and contemplated the best sunsets, although I may have learned a greeting in every language or tasted the clean water from every fountain, if I have not discovered who is the author of so much free beauty and so much peace, I have arrived nowhere.
If from today I do not continue walking on your path, searching and living according to what I have learned, if from today I do not see in every person, friend or foe, a companion on the Camino, if from today I cannot recognize God, the God of Jesus of Nazareth, as the one God of my life, I have arrived nowhere.
April 1 offering from the folks at Gratefulness.org (quote from Pierre Pradervand):
I bless this day for the wonderful adventure it can become as I
walk through it with the eyes of wonder rather than boredom,
use every opportunity to express peace rather than irritation, and
choose love over fear.
And how could I not include this traditional Irish blessing, well known to me but also sent recently by several as our journey’s beginning neared:
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Prayer to St. Therese of Lisieux (sent to me by my friend Barb and so appropriate for this–or any?–journey):
St. Therese, you who are forever young
in your spirit of childhood help me
to understand that I, too,
can begin a new life every day.
Give me the confidence to stretch
out fearlessly into the future,
where a Father awaits me to
lead me on in love.
Teach me to walk with my hand in
His whether the path is rough or smooth,
uphill or down.
And show me how to be
cheerful and kind to all who share
this journey into an eternity of promise.