Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

Links to the Camino de Santiago pilgrimages are on the navigation links to the right of the web page.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Camino 2017-09-23 A Day in Fatima

Today was a day of sleep, rest, and prayer. That's pretty much it.

No tourism.

No shopping.

Just me with my thoughts. I prayed on the Valinhos Via Sacra, a remarkably simple nature walk to Aljustrel where the shepherd children were born. I sat and walked, but I had to return. Huge crowds were doing this in the morning in their tourist or prayer groups, and I couldn't move on the narrow path easily.

Which is ironic really. Most Camino pilgrims do it their own way on their own schedule. You can't at Fatima. There's a long schedule of activities going on all day at the various sanctuaries. It's a bit like Disneyland. You get to make your day, but within the proscribed event schedule.

The only thing of note that perhaps I want to share is that I left letters from home at the Chapel of Reconciliation. It's my favorite place in Fatima. It's an indoor-outdoor prayer spot. Mary is the visual focal point. But Jesus is just behind us and that makes sense for this place. If you're in a place where petitions are given, where we ask each other and Mary to pray with us, then the fact that she's staring out to Christ the whole time comforts me.

I did ponder my slight detachment from the devotion. Yes, I enjoy doing the rosary because like Taize, the repetition and rhythm allow me to tap in unison to the heartbeat of a group of people. To be one with them no matter our languages. And yet my love for Mary and communal prayer is always focused on Christ. I can see how non-Catholics view the worship of Mary as an end goal, which is where I differ with some here. To me, Mary is holding my hand, and I hers, as we pray together.

I ended the night again in vigil. It was windy and cold. The procession grew larger, to maybe 20,000 people. And we prayed together.

No comments :

Post a Comment