Pilgrims and Monks may seem contradictory but this is our story.
Read this write ups in one of the photo album in the place (Tearmann’s) where we stayed for 3 days and 2 nights: “Today, Like Kevin, we can enter Glendalough as pilgrims recalling the journey we have travelled and committing ourselves to searching for the most authentic meaning of our lives on this earth.”
Truly, just like St. Ignatius, we came to this place as pilgrims, carrying with us our experiences…our being as we just have shared our stories from the “heart.” One week of sharing our feelings, desolations and consolations can be daunting and tiring at times, going out from Cardoner House as a community to Glendalough, was a refreshing treat. They say, the story of Glendalough is a story from Solitude to Community and it’s true and we can attest to this. It helps us built community among ourselves as tertians who came from different countries and different culture but we speak of one common language (other than English, our course) but we all speak the Ignatian Language. This experience somehow helped in fostering community spirit among us.
This language came with a worldview and that very essence of this worldview intertwined with the worlds of the early monastic tradition of Ireland with St. Kevin.
‘The story begins in the hermitage that Kevin established on the southern shore of the upper lake and extends to the lower valley where the great monastery of Glendalough flourished for hundreds of years after his death in 618 AD, Many monuments in stone are highlighted to remind us of the countless thousands of people who have passed this way before us.
As we immersed ourselves with this tradition, we can’t help but relate this God’s grandeur to our own story. Timely, though that we are asked to write our own autobiography.
The story of Glendalough is our story too. An overall impression is created of this environment within which Kevin lived and where he searched for the deepest meaning of his life. We too, pilgrims as we call ourselves, are in a journey of constantly wrestling and finding the deepest meaning of our lives.
Points for further reflection:
Did the shape of the landscape draw us deeper into our inner soul journey?