The Hole in the World Where Love Should Be

I have travelled on numerous pilgrimages over the years of my life. I went to Lisieux, in France, to see where the young saint who had shaped my life through her inspiration actually lived, Therese of Liseux. I went to Lourdes in Southern France to see where Mary appeared to Bernadette. I went to Rome, to Jerusalem, to Medjugorje, Santiago de Compostella, Avila. Visiting place to me  is like traveling to a center in the brain where vital information and sensation are stored and thereby accessed.

Each time I have gone on pilgrimage I knew instinctively to dedicate the pilgrimage to a certain purpose. I could write a book on the responses I have felt to those prayers and purposes over the last decades. I may do that one day.

On January 1 of 2012 I leave on pilgrimage to Kenya, Africa – specifically to visit the slum in Kibera where human innocence is stored, covered over by depravity of poverty and violence. I have been considering how to dedicate this pilgrimage. The image occurred to me today to commit this travel to visualizing the possibility of tapping into a hidden spring, like what happened at Lourdes and many of the places where the Virgin Mary was said to have appeared.

The spring I want to imagine being tapped is a spring of love that will rush up to fill the hole where absence of love has been. If we see it, maybe it will be so. Why cannot we fill the spaces of love’s depravity with love itself if we wish to?

To this possibility I dedicate this season and this pilgrimage.

 

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