Sunday, October 17, 2010

Arrivederci Italia

Our day of departure, or perhaps return, has arrived.  Wake up was at 4:15 AM so that we could all be on the bus for a 5:00 ride to the Malpensa Airport in Milan.   All of the pellegrini were on time and ready to continue our journey and head back to the USA.  

As we all made our way through security in both Milan and London and as we boarded the two phased plane rides back to the USA, I had the impression of us reversing the steps that we took on our first day to begin our pilgrimage.  We were going back from where we came but we were going back as different people. 

Our experience of participating in the journey changed us and knit us together as a group of 10 pellegrini.  We shared in Augustinian hospitality and community life.  The prayers, the meals, the laughs, the new friends we met, the bus travel and the walking tours of our journey, all contributed to the formation that truly shaped us throughout the week.  There was plenty of time to reflect on the past week on the plane ride back and there will be more opportunities for reflection and reunion. 

We thank God for all of the blessings that were bestowed and shared this past pilgrimage.  A part of the  prayer of the pellegrinaggio from the beginning pages of our Pellegrinaggio Prayer Book is a fitting way to conclude our blog:

You have given each one of us hearts
that want to be happy
And you have placed within us
the desire to search for you as we live our daily lives.
Quiet the fears and distractions of our hearts each day
so that we may listen to the movement of Your Spirit
and may listen to your guidance.
Remain with us, good God,
during this Augustinian pilgrimage:
Shelter us with your protection by day,
Give us the light of your grace by night,
And as our companion on this journey,
bring us to our destination in safety.


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