Sunday, July 29, 2007

Croagh Patrick

Today Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam, Ireland and 30,000 pilgrims climbed the holy mountain Croagh Patrick near Westport, Ireland.

In 2005, I climbed Croagh Patrick with a group of students and fellow alumnae from my high school (including The Chronic Dork). It was a very powerful spiritual experience and I hope I will return to Croagh Patrick some day.

I could use a retreat like that now. This entire year has been very stressful and often I have wanted to disappear into the Lord's most beautiful creation, escape the materialistic world, and draw closer to Him in that way. But, I know that is not what I am called to do at this point in time. He has already given me tasks I must complete first.

Nevertheless, the memory of Croagh Patrick and Archbishop Nealy's homily today is very welcome.

"All of us have to slow down as we climb to the summit...Now and again we stop to catch our breath, or perhaps, in the early light, gaze on the beauty of God's creation."

"The world in which we live has set an impossible pace...We are rushed from infancy to adolescence and then through those special years to an ill-timed adulthood."

"Perhaps, today, we might bring home a lesson from this old mountain of St. Patrick...We might discover the need to reflect, to slow down the pace of life, to wonder at the beauty of the earth, and to really appreciate the value of our friends."

"We live in the age of the instant, where there is no joy in the anticipation and no time to value the achievement. We have forgotten about the sacredness of now or, as some put it, 'the sacrament of the present moment.'"

"As we leave this mountain and find in it a symbol of our own lives and struggles in its call for courage, perseverance, and in its joy, sorrow and fulfillment, we might remember those today who struggle with steeper slopes of hunger, exile, famine and separation from their own native lands...We will pray too for those who scale the dizzy heights in search of peace when that summit seems so distant."

Some prayer intentions:
For my teacher who lead the trip to Ireland and his family
For three of my co-workers, both for them and in thanksgiving for their presence in my life.
For KK (seen climbing in the third picture) as she and her brother move to Texas on Tuesday

The excerpts from the homily are from one of Zenit's reports today...the full homily should be posted on the archdiocesan website soon. The images are from my pilgrimage.

1 comment:

Claire said...

Croagh Patrick was definitely one of the high points of the trip. It was so beautiful. Although, I'm still a little embarrassed that Mr. Moran (with a toddler on his back!) beat me up the mountain. :)

The excepts from the bishop's homily are wonderful, too.