From: Pilgrim Road
Meeting My True Self
The Israelites’ journey through the wilderness stripped away all of their illusions, so that they could see who they truly were. It brought them face-to-face with the stark reality of their weakness, their unfaithfulness, and their forgetfulness.
Many pilgrims made the long journey to Jerusalem, Rome, or Compostela as a means to atone for their sins. As early as the 800s, when traveling was an uncomfortable and dangerous business, pilgrimages were often imposed as penances, even by civil authorities, for certain sins or crimes.
Like the Israelites in the desert or those penitent pilgrims, we must begin our own inner journey of conversion with the honest acknowledgment that we, too, are flawed and sinful creatures in need of God’s healing and redemption. The meditations for this first week of Lent help us to face and deal with the fact that we are indeed broken and imperfect. “Muros,” “Dieppe,” and “Fátima” all help us to see the central role that our imperfections play in our spiritual life. “Alba de Tormes” reflects on the value of healthy, heartfelt humility; and “Berlin” challenges us to look into our hearts to find and break down any barriers to love. Finally, “Saint Julien” urges us to let go of our need to be perfect.