Saturday, June 28, 2008
In today's Oregonian there is an interesting article on mapping the way of Buddhist beliefs. While on the "outside" of being Buddhist seems easier-said-than-done, apparently being "inside" the Buddhist tradition makes it no easier. The book, "Mapping the Dharma" by Paul Gerhards, charts and lists key parts of Buddha's s teachings called the Dharma: the Three characteristics of Existence, the Seven Factors for Awakening, and the list goes on.
For pilgrims of all faiths, I thought this was a meaningful line: "The Buddha said that a map is not the territory...it's merely a tool of discovery" said Gerhard. On pilgrimage, our stories become a map that enable us to discover the world of pilgrim's yearning.
Click here for more.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
As he was walking out of one meeting to another I button-holed him with a card of the School of the Pilgrim, which led to possible connections in the future with the School of the Pilgrim.
His invitation was clear: he wanted us to go and visit the Holy Land, to see what is happening to the Palestinian people. He said that Christians are leaving as quickly as possible from this part of the world because of the violence.
It is time for a change in that part of the world.
Pilgrim peace, Brett
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
In the Gospel of Matthew 9:35-10:8, the reading opens up with Jesus on his pilgrimage: Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them ,because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. The he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into God's harvest.'"
Fantastic! When I saw that this was the reading for this coming Sunday, and heard it read aloud, I thought to myself, "I need to read this more often on pilgrimage." I know that reading and hearing these passages in context, or different contexts, matters. Imagine hearing these words read while on pilgrimage to Santiago, or in Jerusalem, or in St. Patrick's Purgatory. The one who is the embodiment of the kingdom, the realm, the dominion of God, going around on his earthly pilgrimage teaching spontaneously in synagogues in the countryside, or talking in open meadows to those who were simply eager to hear the good news and see the good news in action.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
On pilgrimage I keep learning and re-learning these two lessons: first, the road, the journey, the trek, the pilgrimage is long. Second: because it is long, we can always use the help of our friends, whether on earth or in heaven, e.g., the footsteps of saints before us, as well as those saints among us.
This lesson came to the fore in reading Andrew Sullivan's blog, www.andrewsullivan.com, and a quote from Tim Russert, who died on Friday, June 13th:
"I’m someone who grew up taught by the Sisters of Mercy and the Jesuits. And both those nuns and those priests taught me, and taught us, my classmates, how to pray--that it simply wasn't the recitation of memorized prayer but meditation and contemplation.
The situation you're talking about is when my wife was in labor for a long time, I walked out of the hospital and walked around the corner and there was a church. And actually, it was a shrine to Saint Elizabeth who is the mother of Mary, the mother of God, which is more than ironic and important.
And so I, constantly, realize it's a long road, it's a long journey, and we can't get there alone. And so I'm very open and find it quite necessary to ask for help and assistance and inspiration. And that comes in a very powerful way in the form of prayer," - Tim Russert, great Catholic.
Or as the Beatles remind us, "Oh, we get by with a little help from our friends..."
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Thanks for the prayers!
Pilgrim peace, Brett
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Today's Old Testament/Hebrew Scripture in the Revised Lectionary was from Genesis 12:1-3, in which the passage was the following: Yahweh said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. I will of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
This is the first pilgrimage narrative that establishes the practice of pilgrimage for the Jewish and Christian communities of faith. And it is wonderful and scary. Let me begin with the scary: the call of faith that Abram follows-through with, moving forward and leaving the known home and the land he knows so well, with Sarai, unto the unknown. There were no hotels or private Albergues or Refugios: only nomad meeting nomad.
The wonderful part? That Abram and Sarai did move forward, and did depend upon God, and God did deliver. God delivers, lives up to God's promise, meaning that we don't have to be "God" on our pilgrimages. God will provide.