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Dominican Pilgrimage, July 2018

[caption id="attachment_1630" align="alignright" width="150"] Blog by Sr. Roberta Miller[/caption] Who is a pilgrim or what is a pilgrimage? What does a ‘sacred place’ mean? Most of us like to travel—some to experience something new or different; some to retreat of a place for quiet reflection close to nature; others look to re-acquaint   with family relatives and friends. To my surprise my July pilgrimage: Deepening the Dominican Spirit fulfilled all three desires as I indeed entered into the sacred places of Fanjeaux and its surrounding areas where Dominic walked, ministered and was challenged. Dominic became alive as a compassionate, loving human being whose life’s journey in listening, learning and responding to issues with prayer, dialogue and community resonates to our needs today. Dictates and military might do not overcome human conviction.  Personal relations combined with dialogue grounded in truth eventually reach into hearts and minds. As we gradually were immersed into the spirit of Dominic in the troubled times into which he was thrust, we saw that in the life of Dominic the truth of reality was always unfolding, expanding in order to understand and respond in compassion to the errors of his time. For Dominic it was human persons who required education, respect and understanding of their issues if errors in perspectives of God and behaviors were to be changed. Our visit to and climb of Mount Monsegur where 500 Cathars took refuge to withstand French military assaults was a vivid testimony to the futility of brutal force to convert the inner strength of human conviction—even if by death by fire on the stake. Our world is also in transition as we have forgotten our human oneness in diversity.   Individual power and status twists our perspectives of God and life as we seek to dominate this earth. How do we strive to meet the injustices perpetrated through migrations, trafficking, use of fossil fuels, earth’s pollution, ignorance and ideological stubbornness? Words may inspire; living justly in charity and “treasuring voluntary poverty” brings about change. We are all pilgrims in the   spirit of Dominic, seeking ways to bring the people of God to the Good News of God’s ways.

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