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Written Reflections

The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage

Sir Walter Raleigh wrote the poem ‘A Passionate Man’s Pilgrimage’ in 1618, the year he died. The themes in the first few lines, in many ways, sum up the key ingredients of our faith. This series considers these themes.

The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage - I’ll take my pilgrimage

And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.

This week as we have journeyed together we have looked at different key ingredients of our faith. Today we are, not only, going to look at the insights we have gained through our reflections on faith, joy, salvation and hope, through creative activities, but also consider the concept of pilgrimage and what it is, that we personally need, as we continue our journey of faith.

As Sally Welch commented in her series on pilgrimage in Quiet Spaces in 2013, “There are as many reasons for pilgrimage as people who make them.” (Pilgrimage, Sally Welch, p.63). Some go to seek healing, others are searching for guidance or spiritual insight, but whatever prompted the challenge of the long walk and time away from the routine of daily life, each person will have their own experience and outcome.

One of the most well known destinations for pilgrimage along, with Rome and Jerusalem, is Santiago de Compostela. It was apparently customary, in medieval times, for those returning from Santiago de Compostela to bring back a scallop shell to show that they had completed this pilgrimage. In this poem, Raleigh is about to embark on the ultimate pilgrimage and the images that he mentions paint a picture of a man preparing for a journey to a sacred place, which in his case, in view of his impending execution, is heaven.

I would like to suggest that you choose one of the following creative activities. Carry it out with prayerful consideration, reflecting over your journey of faith, what you need as you journey on and the insights that you have gained this week.

Creativity can be expressed in so many ways! You may like to:

Paint or draw a picture expressing these ingredients of faith and your journey this week.
Make a collage which represents your thoughts and feelings on faith and pilgrimage.
Write your own poem or prose or song is response to this week’s themes.

When you have finished your creative activity, pause for a moment or two and allow the Lord to speak to you about it. Then close with a prayer of thanksgiving for all you have received from him during the week.

Written by Dorinda Miller; © D Miller 2016. For full credits please see the site credits page