A pilgrimage! Why?


Honestly, this sounds odd, but I have heard that the longest pilgrimage is the one that takes you… "from your brain to… your heart!"


A paradox? Maybe not: I have long found myself spending most of my days working hard at lining up one logical thought after another toward some illusory goal . Overheating brain: "How can I get there? What do I need to do to get this? How could I become more successful than him, or her? How can I earn more? What could make me look better, more powerful?" And while my grey cells swelled up toward such worldly ideals, I was forgetting that my heart was ticking. Life flew by, and looking back, I saw little joy in the way I was spending most of my time.


Yet, don't we all sense that money or social status are not what brings true happiness? We have all met certain people that breathe constant contentment and are not either rich or highly ranked. What we have found in them is a huge and warm heart for others: they are people we instantly feel good with. It is not what they have that counts, it is what they are. They seem to have found the way to harbor a smile in most circumstances – and they always find ways to make our current burden feel lighter.


How can we find the way, from our brain to our heart? How can we fill our heart with the enjoyment of others, rather than preoccupy our brain with the manipulation of others? No need, really, to close the door of your home one morning and take off walking toward a distant shrine, as I will soon do…


My pilgrimage to Compostela started almost 20 years ago, on a Christian weekend called "Cursillo". I will let you know more on this, later. Suffice it now to say that on that occasion, I developed a new vision of what counts in life. I met wonderful people, the happy kind mentioned above, and they started helping me take real charge of my own life. They pointed out the way from the brain to the heart, and used Spanish words such as "Ultreya" – "Go further, go beyond" - which they explained to be what pilgrims tell each other… on their way to Compostela… in order to encourage each other in the final and steep hills.


So, why go, flesh and bones, all the way to Compostela? I feel like paying dues. I have received so much since that weekend: I wish to take this all - which was freely given to me - and bring it to a holy place. On the way, I will continue to work on this much harder virtual pilgrimage – from my brain to my heart! And you can help me walk easier, by giving me reasons to walk: a kilometer for this, a kilometer for that! Keeping my thoughts focused on situations that deserve petitions or just giving thanks, my brain will be less in the way, and my heart will hopefully continue to enlarge, and I will forget my tired legs…


Please, do not hesitate, e-mail me your requests. Short messages, not much detail needed: "Can you walk for my ailing mother – Signed: Johnnie". Or: "Can you walk giving thanks for a mended broken relationship – Signed: Lucy". You can post your e-mail through this site: just click "E-mail" in the menu bar above. I will stop regularly at internet cafes and capture your messages.



Cursillo greatly helped motivate my departure for Compostela. The complete name is "Cursillo de Cristiendad" in Spanish. This means short course in Christianity. In a few days, adults tell other adults what is Christianity through their own experience: so there are several witness accounts in the essential domains which allow these men and women to explain how they have encountered God. Cursillo had started in Spain to help adults accompany adolescents on the way to Compostela. They anticipated that these younger ones would have questions about religion, but would not want the abstract replies of a catechism. So why not tell God through a true human experience? And this is the richness and the strength of Cursillo: the authenticity of the life of certain persons, what they have discovered while praying, reading or sharing with others...


In Geneva, the Cursillo is ecumenical, and this makes it even richer: the different traditions from Catholicism and from the communities that came out of the reformation can exchange what makes their distinction. Catholics, for instance, can help protestants discover the richness of sacramental life; and protestants can help Catholics discover the richness of biblical reading, etc.


So if you have the least desire to discover who is this God of the Christians, register into a Cursillo weekend: it is rich, joyful and this will open for you new perspectives for life, without forcing you to get engaged later on.









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