Thursday Re-View — And the Pilgrims Came…

This was written while on retreat in Assisi, Italy.
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And the Pilgrims Came…

One by one, they came.
Walking, shuffling, crawling, running.
To you, St. Francis…to you.

Faces wreathed in wonder at your tomb, prayerful, reverential, respectful.
The young girl’s smile widened, the older woman’s face smoothed, the man’s countenance glowed.

To that Holy Place, that Sacred Ground, that Place of Silent Wonder.
A communion of souls, a self-made gentling of our armor, a slowing of our racing lives.

One by one, they came.
Walking, shuffling, crawling, running.
To you, St. Francis…to you.

The hiss of lighted candles, the crack of knees bent in homage, the murmurs of prayer.
A gathering, a fellowship, a commonality of simplicity.

The Prayer of St. Francis. Canticle of the Creatures.
Brother Sun, Sister Moon and the stars. Lady Poverty.

One by one, they came.
Walking, shuffling, crawling, running.
To you, St. Francis…to you.

One small man, bleeding the wounds of Christ, staunching our bruised souls with your love.
One small voice, deep in the wooded forest, ringing across the world to humanity.

A patched, threadbare tunic, a hair shirt, leg coverings for your stigmata,
worn sandals that flapped against the ground, mapping your mission for all to hear.

One by one, they came.
Walking, shuffling, crawling, running.
To you, St. Francis…to you.

The bells, calling us to prayer, to weep, to rejoice, to reflect.
Their echoes tolling for the souls of the lost, and for those who are found.

And the Pilgrims came…

Assisi

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Buon Giorno

 

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It was a little thing, really.

Buon Giorno.

But it was a little thing on the way to a big thing.

The big thing of peace and serenity in a world filled with anything but.

Each morning while in Assisi, my husband and I would get up and be “on the road” for breakfast by 7 am. “The road” being cobblestone streets barely wide enough for a compact car, paved stairways that wound up and around and up yet again, making one pause to catch their breath before moving on. Our mode of transportation – protesting muscles and blistered feet on a 20-minute walk. Past storied apartments made of light brown stone, windows shuttered against the morning chill, flower boxes brimming with vibrant color. Shopkeepers opening their doors, sweeping and washing down their entrances with a brace of cool water.

Buon Giorno.

Even the dogs, tails wagging, seemed to greet the morning and the visitors with equal enthusiasm. Then another pause to catch your breath – this is, after all, the hilled and terraced town of Assisi – giving you a chance to look down at the wide expanse of countryside in the distance with domed churches, plowed fields and stone farmhouses. The mist burning off in the rising shafts of sunlight, layers of color gently touching the horizon.

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On the way to a local pasticceria for breakfast, this became a pilgrimage of a different sort. A pilgrimage of ordinary time, of community, of quiet before the trappings of a busy day, before the busloads of tourists arrived looking to honor a humble saint.

Buon Giorno.

Good Morning. Good day. Hello.

A meeting of sorts; an interaction, a welcoming, an acknowledgement.

You matter. I see you. I wish you well on this day of all days, this most beautiful of mornings.

Assisi reached out to me with its embrace and I felt its warmth. Each and every person deserves that same sense of peace, of importance, of worth.

Buon Giorno.

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And the Pilgrims Came…

This was written while on retreat in Assisi, Italy.
___________________________________________________

And the Pilgrims Came…

One by one, they came.
Walking, shuffling, crawling, running.
To you, St. Francis…to you.

Faces wreathed in wonder at your tomb, prayerful, reverential, respectful.
The young girl’s smile widened, the older woman’s face smoothed, the man’s countenance glowed.

To that Holy Place, that Sacred Ground, that Place of Silent Wonder.
A communion of souls, a self-made gentling of our armor, a slowing of our racing lives.

One by one, they came.
Walking, shuffling, crawling, running.
To you, St. Francis…to you.

The hiss of lighted candles, the crack of knees bent in homage, the murmurs of prayer.
A gathering, a fellowship, a commonality of simplicity.

The Prayer of St. Francis. Canticle of the Creatures.
Brother Sun, Sister Moon and the stars. Lady Poverty.

One by one, they came.
Walking, shuffling, crawling, running.
To you, St. Francis…to you.

One small man, bleeding the wounds of Christ, staunching our bruised souls with your love.
One small voice, deep in the wooded forest, ringing across the world to humanity.

A patched, threadbare tunic, a hair shirt, leg coverings for your stigmata,
worn sandals that flapped against the ground, mapping your mission for all to hear.

One by one, they came.
Walking, shuffling, crawling, running.
To you, St. Francis…to you.

The bells, calling us to prayer, to weep, to rejoice, to reflect.
Their echoes tolling for the souls of the lost, and for those who are found.

And the Pilgrims came…

Assisi

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