If this blog has been a little quiet of late, it is because all my spare hours have been dedicated to translating. I was sent the thirteen meditations for this year's Chartres pilgrimage in French, and asked to translate them into English. They take between three and four hours each...
So now that they are done, I can turn my mind to the rest of the preparations. I have dug out a tent, and a few sleeping bags; oiled my boots and cleaned my walking sandals (which are my preferred footwear for the pilgrimage). I have checked tickets and passports (for the significance of this, see here) and I have looked at the weather forecast for Paris for next weekend (possibly wet on Saturday, sunny on Sunday and Monday).
But actually, the translating of the meditations is the better preparation. The pilgrimage is primarily a spiritual journey; the practical preparations are essential, but it is the spiritual ones that really make the trip worth while.
And this year I am lucky enough to be taking three of the four junior Trovati (Ant has, of course, changed her name when she married - but she is still Trovata to me). Bernie is most upset that she can't join us, as we have never had all four of the children walking to Chartres at the same time. But as she is currently in Zambia, working with the Holy Spirit sisters, looking after AIDS orphans, she can't be with us.
So if you have a moment, say a prayer for us all; that we may endure the physical hardships with good humour, negotiate the practical issues with panache and finesse, and above all, gain the spiritual benefits which Our Blessed Mother has in mind for us, as we walk in her honour from her Cathedral in Paris to her Cathedral in Chartres.
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