Coming home has provided me the ability to be much more articulate about the pilgrimage than while I was there. Odd thing to happen you might say, but I think having to recount our experiences to others that weren’t there, takes so much more consideration. I want to make sure that my insight from the trip is coming out in my word choices, inflections and body language. When talking about it with fellow pilgrims, they “got it.” These people don’t “got it!” And my goal is to make sure they “get it!”

Today I’m having a premiere showing of Nhat and Tiphaine’s slides for our staff. Everyone is quite looking forward to it, and I don’t think that the lure of providing popcorn is even that important! During that showing I want to make sure I convey how the pilgrimage has changed my faith, outlook and desires for the future. So as I prepare here are some key points I want to share with them:

I hope returning from the pilgrimage people see a change in me. A change as I strive to live in a more directed and dedicated manner. Experiencing in person, the faith and drive of millions of the faithful through the centuries makes me feel quite trite about my faith and personal passions. My faith is so easy here, not so, for so many others before me. I don’t want to forget these experiences from last week, but want to continually reflect upon them and ensure I am incorporating into my life:

  • Father Moreau’s whole goal in life was to be more Christlike. For me, what do I need to do every day to emulate that better? I want to wake up each morning with that goal in mind and focus on what it means for me and all of those I encounter.
  • The faith of Father Sorin and the 6 brothers who traveled to a new land, with a new language, and started a school from nothing. I need to hold strong to that faith as I make decisions on a daily basis, knowing that I am where I am supposed to be in my personal life as well as being the fruit of Father Sorin’s efforts and continuing his dream.
  • The craftsmen that built these amazing French churches 1000’s of year ago put blood, sweat and most certainly many lives lost into creating these homages to Christ. How can I ensure I am honoring Him every day, pushing beyond my limits?
  • The sculptors that toiled over every minute detail of the statues and carvings in the churches. So much thought went into every look, body placement, symbolism and meaning in all the carvings. I probably understood 1/100 of everything they wanted to be preserved for history. What can I do to make sure I am being mindful of every detail in my life? Recognizing people’s needs, the subtleties of of their emotions, taking time to truly think through every decision I make and not overlooking details that are important.
  • The artisans that created the intricate stain glass windows wanting to tell a story. Painstakingly choosing all the right pictures, colors, and symbolism for getting their points across in their storytelling. Are my actions telling Christ’s story through the windows into myself?
  • The faithful that endured war after war and the French Revolution and yet were determined to rebuild and not be swayed in their commitment. I am typically a very positive person, but making sure that I don’t wallow in setbacks and they don’t derail me to continually move forward.

Check back with me next year to see how I am doing, but know that I am making this commitment to myself and my fellow pilgrims!

Written by LoriAnn Edinborough