Tuesday, 15 August 2017

On The Way again

Flicking through i-Player I noticed that they had the film "The Way" from 2010. I've seen it before and we also showed it at one of our film nights in St Brigid's.  I like it a lot, and so I sat down to watch it again. It sort of creeps up on you, like the characters in the film creep up on each other. 
Martin Sheen (left) plays a California ophthalmologist whose son dies following the Camino to Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. He decides to complete his son's journey carrying his ashes. The film was written, produced and directed by Sheen's real life son Emilio Estevez, who also plays the son in the film.
On one level not much happens, but on another it all happens, as Sheen and three fellow pilgrims (right) slowly open up to each other as they walk along, each with several layers of reasons why they are making the pilgrimage. There are several very funny and many very moving moments, including of course their arrival at the doors of the cathedral-shrine of St James at Santiago.
This evening we had the pre-journey meeting for our 2017 September Pilgrimage that I have been involved with since 1990. Why do I go?  Why does a pilgrimage work?  Journeys, both outer and inner, sharing, good company, a kind of trip up from ordinary life to Mt Tabor for a temporary parting of the curtains? I don't really know - the understanding is in the doing, and many have come sceptical, dismissing a pilgrimage as somehow old hat or superstitious. Only to find - what? Peace, relaxation, a deeper spirit, themselves... 
Never dismiss pilgrimages if you have never been on one - 2000 years of Christianity and centuries of such journeys in other faiths before, can't all be wrong.

Below - Mass at the cave-house of the Annunciation, Nazareth 

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