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..."