Binding the threads together

Day 12
Kristen and I were rostered on for prayer today. Kristen is a very organized person and had brought laminated pictures and an outline. She told me this on our first day together so I wondered to myself what input I could offer. In the end we worked well together! The organized and the carefree! 

We created a beautiful centrepiece with the Kildare Ministries  colours and candles that shaped an early version of a Brigidine cross that also represented the joining of the three streams we heard about on Saturday: Megolithic, Celtic and Christian spirituality. 

Kristen connected Teach Bhrïde with our mission and asked pilgrims to choose a picture that spoke to them about the connections they have made. We reflected to quiet music by Loreen McKennit – The Mystic’s Dream, (listen Here and then shared with the person next to us. Kristen then invited us to share with the larger group which people did with great enthusiasm.

The we prayed. Very sadly,  Ingrid had to leave us today to fly home to be with her dying mother. We lifted her up in prayer and asked for comfort and peace on the long journey home alone.


Today’s session with Dr Noelia Molina was AMAZING! She had the job of showing us what threads bind Brigid and Nano together despite the centuries between them.

Noelia explained and contextualized our pilgrim journey in eloquent, reflective and interesting ways that connected our experiences to the experiences others have had over the centuries and to psychological theory as well. 

She kept it real for us. I felt like I had had a free session with the best psychotherapist!

Noelia unpacked and explained our experiences And understand the pilgrim journey so well because she is one as well. Her joy was so catchy and she was full of the Spirit!

Some notes from the day;

Pilgrimage is a liminal space – time disappears

Pilgrimage is part of my spiritual autobiography. My reflection leads to transformation

  • Mystery
  • Wonder
  • Revelation
  • Acceptance 
  • Transformation 

Gods story and my story together


What is the impact that Gods presence has in my pilgrimage?
How am I noticing the transcendent movement within me?

Different ways to notice God

1. mystical experience 

– encounters with god, a sense of presence, brushes with God, mild mystical experience, longing for God ‘the inconsolable longing’ (c s Lewis)

2. The Bible 

– the story of God, the wisdom of God, challenge of God, the praise of God

3. Nature

– natural revelation. “the heavens shall declare”

4. Inner experience:

– inner voice, internal dialogue, dreams 

5. Worship and contemplation: 

– prayer, stillness, silence, solitude

6. Relationships

– through others we learn who God is

– Global consciousness: how different  people affect our journey 

– Our exchange of stories

Issues in noticing God:

– Being loved by God- How open are we to gods love

– Experiencing Gods grace- can I get the life meaning in the experience?

– Dark night of the soul: no sense of God’s presence no relationship or connection. A journey into darkness. 

– Crisis of faith doubt sadness uncertainty
I am a spiritual being having a human experience 
 Pilgrimage is a multi level experience 

Music – The Dark Night of the Soul


What experience has impacted me?

Different ways to notice God:

What are the different ways you notice God in the experience?
What issues arise after noticing the transcendent?

Interesting insights:

  • Context determines your response – depression v dark night of soul
  • Liminal moments where time and space stop and you are in tune with the moment

Where do you feel God?  

– In churches

– In places that are not your tradition

– In nature

– In spiritual experiences can happen anywhere
“Going above the ego” in psychotherapy 

Do the ground work let go of ego consciousness and go up to the spiritual 

I thought Noelia said eagle! – soar with wings of 🦅  and this reminded me of the verse in Isaiah 40:

“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will mount up on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

When you see an eagle take off, it’s wings are powerful and take some time to lift the bird. It is hard work! To mount up Luke an eagle is exactly like ‘going above the ego’. It’s hard work. but if we do the hard yards we will rise above the ego and soar like an eagle!

The other amazing thing Noelia did was unpack the Nano Nagle poem with us.

Take down your lantern from its niche and go out!

You may not dwell in firelight certainties,
Secure from drifting fog of doubt and fear.

You may not build yourself confining walls
And say: ‘Thus far, and thus, and thus far shall I walk,
And these things shall I do, and nothing more.’

Go out! For need calls loudly in the winding lanes
 And you must seek Christ there.

Your pilgrim heart
 Shall urge you still one pace beyond,
 And love shall be your lantern-flame.

Verse 1: Engaging with uncertainty- the exercise where we listed words 

Verse 2: secure from fog of doubt and fear. You may not build yourself confining walls;

– unwanted thoughts and triggers

– Interpretation of my choices

– Way we limit ourselves for fear 

– What are my Psycho- spiritual walls (what’s my response when I meet it in my self or others?)
The spiritual awakening of Nano – compassion for poor. You can’t ignore. (The reluctance of the prophets! Why me send someone else)

Verse 3:
– Facing the shadows, fears and self defeating patterns

– Things that are hard for me to acknowledge 

– How do I listen to my inner dialogue.

William Blake – Good and Evil Angels Struggling for Possession of a Child
Who is the baby being fought over in ourselves?

Verse 4:

– What needs to happen in order for me to truly believe I am loved and worthy of divine guidance and grace?

– Trust and belief are the foundational factors where the spirit pulls resources from 

Verse 5:

– heart transformation 

– Heart metanoia – an expansion of consciousness/spiritual transformation 

– Stay with the stillness and “active waiting” by holding the tensions. St John of the Cross – the soul becomes a battlefield in which…two contraries combat one another.

Session 3

Making the mission of the church real today

“Go out” 

– mission, to be sent

(Hedlund-de Witt 2011)

How do we nurture the inter-relationship between the self, others, the cosmos and God?

“What would it look like?”video

– acknowledge God in the everyday 

– Sharing stories, narratives, using social media as activists

– Interfaith dialogue

The Chocolate Garden of Ireland 

After such a full on day, Caroline, Carmel, Kristen and I headed to The Chocolate Garden for sustenance. It was going to be a bit of a hike so we borrowed the car from Sister Carmel and Kristen drove. We did nearly die at least twice but it was fun.

After our dinner we went to a ‘real party’ as Jack called the craic he took Rose to on the Titanic. It was a great time of dancing and singing enjoyed by all.

Teaching Bern (Presentation Sister) how to snap chat!

2 thoughts on “Binding the threads together

  1. Your blogs have made this collection of “spiritual travelogues” both fun and meaningful reading. Shall miss them. Happy travels through Iceland with Josh and travel gently to year’s end.


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