Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

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

Monday, February 24, 2020

Carry and Roll

Lent is upon us. Many of those who follow this blog will likely know that I'm rather enthusiastic about this liturgical season, this time of pilgrimage to Easter. It's an opportunity for deeper reflection about Jesus and His ministry, His humanity, His cross, His death, His resurrection, His holiness.  Like many of you, I do more reading, more walking, more thinking, more praying.

I'm sometimes asked what I usually do as Lenten disciplines. Many give up things. My husband still likes to give up sweets and chocolates. In addition to taking things on, I do tend to do these two things:

  • I don't exceed the speed limit. Weird huh? Speeding is a given in Southern California; when there's no traffic, you zoom ahead. I do this because often times I do so because I'm in a hurry. Except, in truth, I'm not. If I were more considerate to myself and others, I would make enough time to get some place without speeding. And, I do think that my need for speed makes me focus on me and my desires more than on others and their needs. They've got busy schedules as well. So, I stay within the speed limit and work on loving those that pass me by.
  • We eat out a few times a week. I try to limit my purchases during Lent. I usually spend around $15-20 including tax and tip when I eat out. So I try to limit myself to eating just appetizers and drinking water so with any money I can save, I can donate to the local homeless services.If I spend only $8, I can donate $12. Donating the cumulative amount during Easter brings this Lenten exercise to life.
So here's something I'll be trying this year. For those of you who recall my posts regarding the Cruz de Ferro, it's a custom to carry a stone along the Camino de Santiago (via the Camino Frances) to carry a stone. (Check out a prior Lenten meditation.) The stone represents anything and everything in your life that weighs you down, that holds you back, that hurts you as it rubs against you. And yet you carry it. Maybe you don't realize how much it's hurting you. Maybe you are afraid to set it down. Maybe you think you cannot live without it. Then, at this enormous iron cross just past Foncebadon Spain, you leave the stone at the foot of the cross. You may have carried it hundreds of miles on your Camino walk, and you finally put it down for Christ to carry.

So I invite you to join me on this practice.

Starting Wednesday, I'll carry a stone with me. I'll carry it everywhere I go. The only time I will put the stone down is during our Taize services, when I will place the stone on the cross. And after the service, I'll pick up the stone and continue to carry it. Whenever I feel it in my pocket, I can reflect on all the things in my life that weigh me down, that hold me back, that hurt me, and pray for the strength to let go of that stone, to leave that stone with Christ, to look forward to the day I can let it go.

And on Easter, like those who visited the tomb on the third day, I'll roll the stone away. I'll put the stone down at the foot of the cross and pray that I do so for all the things I thought about during Lent. And in doing so, I pray that I'll find new life.

So go outside, look for a small stone about an inch long. On Ash Wednesday, pick it up and begin carrying it every moment you're up and about, thinking about all the things that you carry every day of your life. 

If you see me, I'll have extra stones that I can give to you, so ask me.

And we can walk together, knowing that we have our stones, looking forward to the day we can be freed of the stones in our lives.

No comments :

Post a Comment