Do you ever spend time to really take care of your inner self, to nourish the soul? Like REALLY take time?
May is my birthday month, the month I made my First Holy Communion as a child, the month of Mary, the month where boughs of blossom weigh heavy on tree branches, where the promising new life of the world is showered in blossom confetti, just as hopeful, as joyful as a couple showered in confetti on their wedding day.
So yesterday for me was one of the most nourishing days I have ever had. For my 38th Birthday next week I chose to go on our annual pilgrimage to Walsingham with @salforddiocese (the first one since the pandemic) I got to meet wonderful people from my local churches as well as connect to dear friends from my old parish. I had a day spent in deep prayer, for myself, my family and friends (at home and in this space), my community and the world.
I didn’t know what to expect as I walked the ‘Holy Mile’ from Walsingham to the @olwshrine barefoot. It was actually more painful than I expected - the shingle pushing into the soles of my feet, but in some strange way it really deepened my prayer and concentration. I suppose in a meditative way it removed me from the distraction of the rambling country hedges, the gorgeous Norfolk countryside and really turned my focus inward as I lost myself in the Mysteries of the Rosary. It really felt like a turning point in the day for me, and as we arrived at the shrine, and my feet were soothed by the soft cool grass, sprinkled with blossom from the trees in the garden, I felt ready to really allow myself to grow in the love and Grace of the Lord.
A wonderful greeting by Bishop John Arnold, a lovely Reconciliation service and Mass left me feeling a deep gratitude for all my faith gives me, and for all I can give through it. I feel fortunate to have spent a day like this, and I am glad I pushed my own doubts to the side (not wanting to leave the children for the day etc) to allow myself this experience. Thank you to @salforddiocese for the opportunity.