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A Pilgrim writes from Parmenie

Posted by A De La Salle Brother writing from Parmenie on 12 October 2016
A Pilgrim writes from Parmenie

Into the looking glass from a dark place.

Where is it, that you are from?

Like the tumbling sands, moved across the desert slopes, by the eternal winds, I too, have found my birth place in the fiery womb of mother earth.

But unlike the sands, I was not formed and moulded by the silent winds. I was tumbled and rolled into shape by the sweet embrace and caress of the cooling waters, also from mother earth.

We both began our earthly journey at the beginning of time we both were formed by the hands of the eternal potter. Our destiny is to serve in silence. As the hands of the e l e m e n t s  c o n t i n u e t o imperceptibly enfold us into a crucifixion of constant abuse and change.

Our cross is to be formed and shaped for service by the hand of time and the manipulations of others, to be eventually lodged in some place, within the warm womb of mother earth silently! waiting for another lifechange!

As I waited, I watched John Baptist walking nearby; I watched him deep in his sorrows of pain, impairment and doubtfulness; I watched him struggle to find value and purpose in his long life of giving and dedicated service; I watched and watched as he pleaded with his God to make clear: "What do You want me to do?"

I felt the gentle caress of his canon hands. Hands that help the broken body of his Lord and God daily my Lord and God too. As he stretched out and laboured to bend his ailing and arthritic body, striving to gently collect me from among my many companions, scattered along the narrow pathways of Parmenie, he heaved a gently sigh of surprise. 

I saw him study the lines of the  roughness of my edges, still to be formed, shaped, to be honed by further purging. I heard him offer a gentle prayer to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and on his lips was a blessing to the Most Holy Trinity. Then with caring hands he returned me to the earth, from which all creation comes. Perhaps soon, another will come!

Yes, I have been lifted up again, and discovered and held gently in welcoming but curious hands. I have been lifted up from my resting place of a million years and carried away from the womb of my silent comfort, to a place I yet know not. Reluctantly, I again prepare myself for another cross and allow the eternal Presence to lead me wherever, along another time of uncertainty and formation.

What do you ask of me? Spirit of the living God, lead me in paths you alone know! What shall I be asked to leave behind? What shall I take with me? Where shall I be? What shall I do? Here I am, what do you want me to do? 'Bidden or not bidden, God is Present' {Carl Jung}

So in the darkest of darknesses, You will continue to carry me, leaving only one set of foot prints in the sand. As I journey through this excruciatingly wonderful place, enable me to enjoy a profound and devastating experience; an experience that will bring me closer to You no matter what the consequences.

Author:A De La Salle Brother writing from Parmenie
About: This Brother, who wished to remain anonymous, was among a group of pilgrims who have retraced the steps of St John Baptist de la Salle across France and Italy in September and October 2016.
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