Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Living in the Shadow of Chimayo

There is a lingering sense of peace that comes upon me in the most turbulent days of interim ministry. I see interim ministry as a pilgrimage, in which the interim pastor saddles up to a congregation and walks with them a good piece of their pilgrimage before handing them off to the called pastor. In between, with the interim pastor, there is a time for questioning, thinking, re-considering, re-thinking, and kvetching in the middle of some changes in how the congregation moved together down the road of life.

That peace that I feel in the most tense moments is what I've learned to call "pilgrim peace." It is a peace that came over me the first time going to Chimayo, later in Israel, on the way to Santiago, and most recently Chimayo again.

It is a peace that says to my tired bones and addled mind: "Everything will be well. Breathe in and take in the Spirit. Everything will be well."

I tasted that peace on the hot days of walking to Chimayo, usually between mile markers on barren dirty empty roads.

And so I taste that peace this day at my interim post.




Friday, June 12, 2009


I am still writing in my journal from the Chimayo pilgrimage, trying to remember what happened and when.

Right now, this quote from Merton helps explain where I am:

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

- Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"



Thursday, June 11, 2009


Made it!

120 miles, from Estancia in southern (northern) NM, to El Santuario de Chimayo.


More to come!