Last night saw me heading over the Westgate Bridge to the Brigidine Ministry Centre in Albert Park for the second and final briefing before heading to Ireland for a pilgrimage in the steps of St Brigid. This is a trip sponsored by school and I’m so very grateful. It was a freezing Melbourne day but such a pretty spot.
Our first reflective time had me a little nervous! I’m not much for visually outlining my life story, but I got stuck into it and found myself in a contemplative mood.
We were also introduced to our small group that we will be checking in with at various times on pilgrimage. I was reminded that I had been busy focusing on the time AFTER Ireland when I meet Josh in Iceland, and had forgotten that the pilgrimage was coming first. I began to feel a sense of excitement and wonder at the journey I would soon be on.
We spent some time on practical matters and signing up for various jobs (prayers, thank yous and photo ops) before participating in a liturgy where we were to be commissioned by Rosemary Copeland on behalf of the trustees.
Of course the minute we sat in our liturgy circle the lights went out and our thoughts turned immediately to the dinner that was being prepared for us! It was one thing to conduct a liturgy by candlelight, in fact it made it more beautiful, but would our dinner be cooked? This was an important question that was soon answered by the lights turning on in a very quick answer to prayer. It did make it a lot easier to read the prayers and responses!
Rosemary is a Latin scholar so it was very easy for her to unpack the word ‘commission’ for us – ‘sending together’. We were blessed, prayed for and gifted with a journal, bookmark and pin and then ‘sent together’ for dinner.
Knowing this prayer is going to be prayed daily for us, brought tears to my eyes.
The candlelight continued into the dining room, although not necessary anymore we enjoyed the atmosphere for awhile before the lights were turned on and we all blinked like blinded owls.
Dinner was delicious and lots of fun conversations were had as the pilgrims got to know each other. Then it was time to depart and say ‘see you in Dublin’!
To sign off my first blog post I thought I would share this amusing but touching prayer attributed to St. Brigid (but probably written later):
“I would like the angels of Heaven to be among us.
I would like an abundance of peace.
I would like full vessels of charity.
I would like rich treasures of mercy.
I would like cheerfulness to preside over all.
I would like Jesus to be present.
I would like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us.
I would like the friends of Heaven to be gathered around us from all parts.
I would like myself to be a rent payer to the Lord; that I should suffer distress, that he would bestow a good blessing upon me.
I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
I would like to be watching Heaven’s family drinking it through all eternity.”
Sounds good to me!
St Brigid’s Lake of Beer (not on the itinerary!)
So fellow pilgrims, See you in Dublin!