A pilgrim heart

Pilgrim, how you journey
on the road you choose...
you cannot change what's over
but only where you go...

Each heart is a pilgrim...

Pilgrim, in your journey
you may travel far,
for pilgrim it's a long way
to find out who you are...

(From "Pilgrim", by Enya)

I've heard and sung along to this song many times, never really taking the words in. But times and seasons change our perceptions, and so hearing it this Ash Wednesday morning gave these words a special resonance. Lent, I realised, calls for a pilgrim heart.

A pilgrimage is not an aimless meander: it is a journey with a purpose, a goal on which the pilgrim heart is focused, regardless of the obstacles and distractions which may come its way. And a pilgrim - especially on something like the Camino or the Via Francigena - has to be ascetic. When you only have your rucksack, life has to be pared down to essentials; there's no room for superfluous creature comforts, or even for the comforts we like to regard as essential. Instead, that space is filled with trust and hope that all will be well, and with surprise and awe when that happens, and at the way in which a commonplace mattress or bowl of soup can now fill us with such gratitude and joy.

So, this Lent I pray that I will journey with a pilgrim heart, focused on my goal, and on the essentials.