As my blisters heal, and my tiredness recedes, more reflections are coming to the surface, which I thought I should record, mainly related to blisters.
One was the wonderful reflection (I think by Fr Byrne) after a meditation on St Francis. One of the themes of the pilgrimage was Creation for the adoration of God. St Francis is naturally a prime exemplar of that philosophy, and Fr Byrne (if it was he - memory is necessarily somewhat hazy) pointed out that we should therefore welcome as friends 'Brother Mud and Sister Blister.'
(Perhaps you had to be there....)
But I also reflect on the body's capacity to heal itself - or not. Many of us got blisters, and our feet will heal themselves of their own accord - as long as we do nothing foolish and follow the advice we are given. However, others had more serious problems and needed medical attention. Without it, they could make their various problems very much worse.
All of which prompted me to reflect on sin: some sins (venial) we will recover from as long as we are repentant, make an act of contrition, and indeed receive Holy Communion with the right dispositions. But for more serious harm to our soul (mortal sins) we need more serious intervention: that is sacramental Confession. If we ignore that we risk doing more damage to ourselves...
Of course, one of the glories of the pilgrimage is the availability of chaplains to hear confessions as we walk: there is always a gap between the chapters, in which the chaplains often walk, and penitents can join them to have their confessions heard. I think the vast majority of our chapter went to confession over the three days, and some more than once.
Doubtless, as my mind catches up with me, further reflections will follow.
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