"Si tu sais mettre Dieu dans tout ce que tu fais, tu Le retrouveras dans tout ce qui t'arrive."*
Our meeting was also when the idea of calling it "Mary's Miles" came up. Just to clarify, it's not actually "Mary smiles", and especially not perhaps today, which is Good Friday, when the Church commemorates the fulfilment of Simeon's prophecy, that "a sword will pierce" Our Lady's Heart. "Mary's Meals", however, is such a magnificent charity, that it may very well prompt Our Lady to smile from time to time.
"Look at the Star, call upon Mary;
With her for guide, you shall not go astray.
While invoking her, you shall never lose heart;
If she walks before you, you shall not grow weary,
If she shows you favour, you shall reach the goal."**
Of late i've been thinking a little bit about the "backpack project" (see marysmeals.org), because my own little backpack has been great, though one of the zips is starting to play up. I'm attached to it not least because i bought it second-hand from a shop in Lockleaze, Bristol, named after St. James (Patron of pilgrims), which happened to be the local parish church. Good zips are very important on a trip like this, and i've also been reflecting on the feathers which line my sleeping bag. It's all very well to look at birds and remark how pretty they are, and how beautifully they sing, but of course some birds are also incredibly "hard", withstanding temperatures the very idea of which would strike terror into the hearts of most humans. Hence feathers are used for things like my sleeping bag.
|Independence Square, Kiev/Kyiv|
A word of caution to anyone heading East towards Kiev from the Ukrainian village of Vchoraishe. If your map is like mine, the next village is marked as 'Andrushki', but there is a signpost pointing you towards 'Andrushivka' as you leave the village. This is the road i took, which meant i actually spent part of Sunday evening walking West, but by that time it didn't seem worth retracing my steps. At the same shop where i bought the map, incidentally, i also bought a copy of 'Treasure Island', in Ukrainian translation, the quintessential swash-buckling adventure yarn, as a gift for the wonderful orphanage/school run by Miles Jesu in Bortnyky. I had an especially pleasant stay there at the beginning of this month - and have since been reminded of the utterly dreadful circumstances which are the fate of so many young boys (and girls) who aren't so lucky as to be taken in by places like that. For more information please contact; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
Treasure Island features Bristol of course, one of whose most (in)famous sons was one Edward Teach, aka 'Blackbeard'. To this day, Bristol's world-famous football team, playing in glorious blue and white, are known as "The Pirates"...
A very Happy Easter to one and all!
*If you take care to put God in all that you do, you will discover Him in all that arrives."
**Prayer attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux.