day of Pilgrimage in the Holy Land!
I walked with my guide from the Mount of Olives, down the slopes to the Garden of Gethsemane and across the Kidron Valley to enter the Old City through the Lion’s Gate, and along the Via Dolorosa.
observed other ‘pilgrims’ along the way. Some sang hymns. Some sat quietly in contemplation in a Holy Place. Some lay prostrate, kissing hallowed ground. And so many followed tour leaders’ flags like lambs to slaughter. I was fortunate to be with my guide, and take my time for personal reflection.
tell today’s story through the captions on the photos. Christians will readily recognize the events and places in the last days of Jesus before his Crucifixion.
I’ve interspersed these with other colourful situations in the streets and alleyways of old Jerusalem.
alk with me!
PICASA PHOTO ALBUM
Click here to see photos and captions
You sound like you were travelling today with the weight of the Holy Cross on your shoulders. All these places that I have only ever heard of during Good Friday ceremonies! I think you truly deserve a massage in the Dead Sea after all this! The only thing that is missing is Mary Magdalene!! Wherefore art thou?
I didn’t mean to convey that I was carrying the weight of the Holy Cross – quite the opposite actually.
Perhaps the weight I was carrying was that old Catholic fear about not being ‘holy’ enough’ in taking in every holy place. I saw others in groups who were praying, walking, with heads bowed in silence when not singing, and doing a lot more of the pious, breast-beating observations. Someone like Fr Steve would have brought it to even greater clarity, and garnered a deeper involvement.
It is something I could do all over again, probably more prayerfully. And it’s not over yet. I am here till Sunday. I’m loving being here for a week – free – without prior daily commitments!
I am going to the synagogue for the start of the Sabbath with a Jesuit friend of Fr Steve. My guide had him as the lecturer in his ‘Christianity’ class arranged by the Tourist Board, and said he was brilliant. That should be good. I also went to the Pilgrim’s House run by the Sisters of Sion to see where a more humble Michael might stay next time. (the new Holy Father’s message of being with the poor must be starting to seep in. Glory be!)
The King David Hotel is grand. Except for my perception I have that some of the over-the-top service translates into asking for a tip. It gives a man (and me) indigestion! And makes me want to get out of there fast (not a bad thing for my waist with all the things on the buffet, particularly some puff pastry things (like sausage rolls) I found yesterday and had to go back for more!)
On my feet, and in the sun for most of six hours, up and down the slope of Mt of Olives and across the Kidron Valley into the Old City wasn’t without a missed step and a jarring of the back a couple of times yesterday. My poor lower back, knees and butt muscles! Thank God, trainer Steve had me in some shape before coming away. And my guide, Ron, also is amazed that an old man (yes he refers to me as an old man!!) has so much get up and go. That massage in a Dead Sea hotel while Ron goes for a swim will be as therapeutic as relaxing. I haven’t seen many ‘Mary Magdalenes’, but there are other ‘attractions’ for sore eyes as I walk around.
Hope you and David are enjoying your adventures in Europe too.
Have been thinking of you and your “spiritual/touring ” journey.. would love to be with you in Mid East..
Now this is a trip you should be organising for us all.. It could be FANTAASTIC. and I could help…now I am officially a tour guide also..
Cheers J.. remember we said small group…
What you are doing sounds so interesting! I would definitely like a bit more pious visit in order to soak in the steps of The Lord.
Pity I could not make it to the Holy Land but now you have the background and know what to avoid for when we go again!!
Pray for me!
Your photo shows nothing has changed from that viewpoint since I was there in 1979. I spent the whole night on that spot from sunset to sunrise. Thanks for bring back meaningful memories. Happy piglriming, Michael. Where to next?
. . . enjoying the journey you are taking us all on.
This looks like the best holiday yet.From time to time I sneak a look at Julie’s Facebook just to see what you’ve been up to. If you come across Mary Magdalene or say John the Baptist make sure you get a photo!
Your blog and Facebook entires are most interesting and exciting. These are places I’ve only read about.