Today was our final stage of the Ignatian Camino, the descent from Montserrat to Manresa. Before we left we walked over to the Basilica and venerated the Black Madonna.
I anticipated that this would be an easy day, but it was difficult. The weather was hot — Larry Naismith said it was 34°C — and it was humid. It felt as though it was the hottest day we had walked in.
Today we were following in the footsteps of Ignatius of Loyola who we know walked from Montserrat to Manresa on March 25th, 1522. He lived in Manresa for the next eleven months. His favourite place to pray was the Cave; a natural grotto facing Montserrat and over which the Church, the Jesuit Residence and the Retreat House are built. His experiences there would bear fruit in his spiritual masterpiece, the Spiritual Exercises.
Michael Bertie told us at dinner this evening that, according to his GPS, we have walked 686 km since we left Loyola.
This evening I said Mass for the group in the cave where Ignatius composed his Spiritual Exercises. It was a great privilege.
Late in life, Ignatius dictated a short Autobiography. In it he summarized the depth of his experiences at Manresa, and in particular while he sat beside the River Cardoner:
He sat down for a little while with his face toward the river…While he was seated there, the eyes of his understanding began to be opened; not that he saw any vision, but he understood and learned many things…with so great an enlightenment that everything seemed new to him.” He added, “even if he gathered up all the various helps he may have had from God, he does not think he had got as much as at that one time.
Contemplation to attain the love of God
Today I suggested an “Ignatian repetition” — we repeated the same meditation as yesterday, but this time we focused on the time of pilgrimage. We reviewed the various stages of our journey and we thanked God for the experiences we have had and the blessings we received as we prepare to return to our everyday routine.
The grace. Today I ask the Father to give me an intimate knowledge of the many gifts I have received during this pilgrimage so that, filled with gratitude for all of these, I may love and serve the Divine Majesty in everything I undertake.
I also spoke to the group about the difficulties of re-entry after an experience like this.
Congratulations Michael and all the pilgrims! What an achievement – so many journeys within one. Well done.
Congratulations on your amazing journey. Looking forward to welcoming you back.
congratulations Michael and to you all, “pilgrims of the heart”. I have been praying for you all and may the graces abound! Thank you too for allowing me to see Manresa again
Well done Michael, Helen and pilgrims. Thank you for sharing such a rich journey with us. Have enjoyed your amazing summaries of your experience. Peace and blessings to you all. Colleen
Congratulations Michael and Pilgrims, a wonderful achievement. To be able to share in some small way in this wonderful pilgrimage in the footsteps of Ignatius has been a great experience for us. The photographs have been a great accompaniment and have continued to “keep the fire burning within” as we have both reflected on our journeys in that place.
Our love and blessings Wayne and Stephanie
Michael, congratulations to you and all the Ignatian pilgrims on your arrival at Manresa. Celebrate abundantly!! Gerard Boyce, in Castejon heading for Alfaro.
Congratulations – what a great effort by all of you. May the blessings of your journey continue to give you life as you journey home.
Congratulations, Michael and Pilgrims, on a journey completed and one resumed (i.e., “normal” life)! Love and blessings to you! Thank you for sharing this with us all.
Congratulations Michael and pilgrims…