Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Soon-to-be-Blessed Pope John Paul II - please pray for us!

Christ sculpture, Kolbuszowa
   I must thank David Hothersall, who i met in Jericho on the penultimate day of the last pilgrimage, and his people at Kinlan Communications (hope i've got that right!), very much for going to the trouble of setting up this blog - such things are not exactly my forte. Progress in Poland has been a little bit patchy, but thankfully today i'm in Kolbuszowa, edging towards the Ukrainian frontier. There have been lots of nice people here; and a score of 'two' on the free-hotel-room-o-meter so far. Among other things i've also been struck by the presence of very tall Crosses in the forecourts of most of the Churches. There was a similar one outside Westminster Cathedral to mark the Millenium, but after a year or so it was removed to obscurity, somewhere in Yorkshire i think. I can't help thinking there's an ambivalence towards the Cross among Christians in Britain, which might partly account for the emptying pews...
    On May 1st this year as many as 2 million people (many of them Poles, of course) are expected to be in Rome for the Beatification of Pope John Paul II. Here i could make a little confession; it is not quite clear how i'm going to get a suitable Russian visa for this walk, but i have reason to believe that JPII can help. The hospitality of German people didn't come as such a great surprise to me* because of my experience of the World Youth Day in Cologne in August 2005. At an event there a young Russian lady gave an account of arranging the paperwork for her group of Russian pilgrims. When all seemed lost, and the correct visas looked like they'd never be forthcoming, she had an inspiration to visit a Church and pray for the intercession of the Servant of God Pope John Paul II - and felt absolutely confident that this would have the desired effect. Sure enough, when she went back to the relevant authorities the visas were ready for collection!

"If we do our best, God will do the rest"**. Another sort of 'motto' last time was;

"Some days one makes great strides, while others are more pedestrian, but i suppose you find that in any walk of life. Still, hope it's a step in the right direction."

Yesterday, leaving Mielec, i was NOT walking in the right direction, but thanks be to God, i was able to take a "Benediktynska Ulitsa" (street) which led me back onto the right track. One other thing...on Sunday i enjoyed some yoghurt coated apricots which my Mum sent out specially for me and couldn't help wondering - why ever do people bother to take the yoghurt off in the first place?!

*in February in Germany i only had to pay for 4 or 5 nights' accommodation - local people gave me places to stay and even a hotel and youth hostel let me stay for free, besides quite a few nights in the open of course.
**this was a favourite saying of a Scottish Benedictine Prioress, Mother Mary Garson

1 comment:

  1. Great to hear of your progress - 'Do Well and Doubt NOT!'