Monday, August 31, 2009

Praying, Packing, and Preparing

Kathy Spaar and I talked again this afternoon at length on the telephone. We are gathering our thoughts, thinking through each day of our pilgrimage, and facing the difficult task of deciding what resources from our Celtic libraries to pack. We will be leading daily morning and evening prayers, sometimes on the very holy site as seen here in Glendalough, as part of the rhythm of our travel. Tonight while working in the home study, I read again a portion of T.S. Eliot's 'Little Gidding'. These words are so appropriate for our pilgrimage to the holy places of Ireland as honor the holy saints--both past and present. Perhaps these words will be important to you as you continue to make preparation this week by praying and packing.

If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere.
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same; you would have to put off
Sense and motion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.

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