I should preface this by saying that this is merely my view and that I cannot claim to also speak for Ed. His take on our journey may be quite different from mine.
|Sancta Gemma, ora pro nobis!|
I think it goes without saying that Ed and I will be praying. In addition to attending Mass as often as we can, we will also be praying along the way. Ed has expressed that he is not a huge fan of the Liturgy of the Hours (with the exception of Compline, which he loves), and I am not sure that it will be practical to bring a large breviary with us. I am therefore considering sort of creating my own mini-office with a one week psalter and readings, drawing elements from various parts of the LOTH to complement our journey. After all, there is the 'Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary,' right? I think I might call ours the 'Little Office of the Pilgrim.' It will have all the psalms with mountains in them ("I lift my eyes to the mountains, from where shall come my help? My help shall come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." "Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place? The man with clean hands and pure heart, who desires not worthless things, who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor," etc.). Perhaps we will publish this as an appendix to our book when we're finished.
|Very tempting to use this image for the holy card|
In effect, this pilgrimage should wind up not just involving the two of us, but lots of people. This will be the first of probably many Lord of the Rings references, but just as Frodo and Sam carry the Ring on behalf of all the people of Middle Earth, Ed and I will be carrying the prayers of others on their behalf (and prayers are much more wonderful to carry than the One Ring). Meanwhile, everyone else will be praying for us. Our fates will thus be tied together.
One thing that ought to be clear is that we are not doing this simply for leisure or as a vacation. The purpose of this pilgrimage is not leisure, though certainly leisure will be one of its results, just as the primary purpose of performing in a play is not for fun but for the purpose of creating something beautiful and communicating a message, and if executed well, one has fun (hopefully) in the process.
As I prepare for the trip on my own, I've been trying to do a lot of prayer and spiritual reading to prepare myself for the journey. While I realize that the pilgrimage itself will provide ample opportunity for spiritual growth, I am trying to do as much as possible right now in order to, so to say, open myself up to grace as much as I can while we are on our trek. The idea is to be able to offer to God our utmost effort so he can take the best we give Him and transform it.
We are going to come back new men.