Monday, April 27, 2009


When I was young a copy of this painting hung on our living room wall, it's of the pilgrim fathers boarding the mayflower to begin their journey to a new land. Painted by Bernard Gribble

Blessed are those who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. Psalm 84

When I think of pilgrims the image above jumps to mind an image of people who travel toward a specific destination, tired weary travellers getting on a boat for some distant destination, braving the elements, enduring hardship but enduring in order to reach the promised land.

Although to be a pilgrim does not always require a physical location.

I am also very impressed by the Peregrinari Pro Christ, (Pilgrims for Christ), or "white martyrs," these where predominantly Irish pilgrims who where around in the time of early celtic christianity, they where pilgrims whose specific intent was to wander, to be blown as it where by the wind of the Spirit.

These guys left home, or orders for an unknown destination, they did so in complete faith that God would lead and provide for them. According to wikipedia there "travels often resulted in the founding of new abbeys and spreading Christianity among the pagan population in Britain as well as on continental Europe."

According to the Oxford dictionary "Peregrine" (from the Latin peregrinus) is a given (first or Christian) name which means "wanderer". These guys where wanderers.

I don't get the impression it was aimless wandering, but I am sure there must have been days when it felt like that. Really it was to wander with Christ as well as wandering for Christ.

There is something simple and pleasing about this kind of spirit led life, following and wandering, eventually ending up somewhere. It was probably also frustrating, not knowing the end from the beginning! I feel like that at times.

I feel like a pilgrim, not in some sanctimonious or self righteous way, but as a wanderer. I don't even feel it has to always be physical wandering, we are all on a journey. I'm sure some of us have an idea of our final destination yet for many it feels like we are just walking through life hoping we get it right.....

It's good to remind ourselves that we are all pilgrims, we have all set out from somewhere and will all end up somewhere.

Enjoy the pilgrimage


Anonymous said...

That looks like Southampton Castle in the background. The pilgrim left from Southampton docks on the first leg of their journey.

john heasley said...

I used to look at that picture for ages, I always wondered what the little girl was doing in the bottom right, trying to sneak away or just distracted?