Pilgrimpace's Blog


Good Friday
April 14, 2017, 11:35 am
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Crucifix from Monserrat

“Let us nail ourselves to him, resisting the temptation to stand apart, or to join others in mocking him.”

– Pope Benedict

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the way

“I stop once again at the Iglesia de Crucifijo to see if I can feel again what I felt earlier in the morning in this great old church.  Well, it isn’t the same, of course; that seldom happens in life.  But something slightly different is waiting for me here on this second visit into the crucified one’s world: this camino is already more than a road for me.  It is a way.  It is his way.  I’m on it with him.  In spite of so many indications to the contrary, when all is said and done, I realize now, I actually like this way.  It is simple and true and. I now know, it is a way that can only be understood by walking along a road like the camino, walking as he walked, gazing at rising suns, passing through sunflower fields, tending to aching feet, eating and drinking with strangers, one step at a time but a million steps all in all.  Steps that get me there.”

– Kevin Codd To the Field of Stars

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the marquis of ripon purchases the convent of san damiano
September 20, 2011, 6:23 pm
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Up a steep hill and out of town,

looked after by a shuffling, aproned verger

doubling as a housekeeper to the priest

was Ripon’s Roman Catholic Church,

St Wilfred’s; where Lord Ripon lit the first

eager candles of his conversion.

Was it there that the idea first came to him

to buy back San Damiano’s from the State,

at a time when places such as those

were realising very low prices?

He thought of all the place had meant to him

(cicadas, cypress, thyme,

the ancient conjunction of wood and stone,

the lack of any compulsion to respond)

when he had visited there with his friend

and water-colourist, WB Richmond.

The Count of Cavour would have knocked it down,

used the benches for levering gun carriages

out of the mud in his fight against the Austrians,

and stolen the brittle, silver hair,

probably not St Clare’s, and used it

for stuffing King Victor Emmanuel’s footstool.

But there, Francis heard the crucifix speak,

and Clare wrote letters to Blessed Agnes of Prague

signing herself ‘useless handmaid’.

For these and other reasons, Lord Ripon paid

all those noughts of lires

arguing over the exchange of currency

and mistranslations, so that the nuns

could filter back under no pressure to be useful.

San Damiano’s, the place where Francis wrote

Il Cantico di Frate Sole, under its Yorkshire landlord

was returned to an acre of grace.

David Scott