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St. Columba
June 12, 2012

Coming Full Circle
Nov. 7, 2010

Following the Waymarkers
Nov. 6, 2010

The Ancient Coracle
Nov. 5, 2010

With a Heart of Gratitude
Nov. 4, 2010

Unto Us a Calf is Born
Nov. 3, 2010

Christian Community as Pilgrim People
Nov. 2, 2010

Fiona Reads the Sleekit Mr. Tod
Nov. 1, 2010

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The Ancient Coracle

 
  Corical as pilgrimage waymarker  
  posted November 5,2010  
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A Prayer

O Jesu, true Son of Humanity - a sign:
give me
courage to be;
courage to cradle;
courage to go to the wild places;
courage to weep;
courage to be angry;
courage to enter the most intimate relationships;
courage to risk friendship;
courage to listen;
courage to lose;
courage to act;
courage to love.

from Exploring Celtic Spirituality by Ray Simpson

Columba and his fellow monks set sail from Ireland in a coracle determined to follow God’s leading to a place where they could no longer see their homeland. They prayed to establish a new spiritual community. Their open boat was beached on what has become known as Columba’s Bay. I’m sure it took courage to set sail in one of these small boats even if one felt directed by God. The winds on the sea in the west of Scotland can change very quickly. Many a coracle was lost in sudden and violent storms.

A pilgrimage traveling by ancient coracle is a far cry from taking the CalMac ferry back across the Sound of Iona to board a Bowman bus for Craignure. We all rose at 5:30 AM for a quick breakfast prepared by the staff and then a walk in the dark to the ferry. It was cold and rainy but there was magic to beginning a journey again. This time I was not alone but in the company of ordinary, hardworking saints who I had come to know well in a short time. The ferry was prompt. The permanent staff were at our boarding with lots of hugs all around and with their traditional “wave” goodbye as the ferry pulled away.

By the time the bus reached Craignure the rain had become a mist. We boarded the CalMac ferry to Oban, which was our last ride together. Once in Oban, we all quickly moved out to take a bus, train or car on the next leg of our journey home.

We will all need courage as we reenter our daily round in different cities and countries. Perhaps it will take a similar kind of courage to that which Columba and his monks possessed when they stepped into their open coracle and launched their journey. We, who have created community together will be challenged to create new “little habits of the afterlife of pilgrimage.” I want to live my life with courage and hope that the transformations at work within me will continue in my daily life. I will be reflecting on this as I begin my journey home.

 

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