I’m reading a book about the Templars.
The first chapter talks about the pilgrimage taken by Saewulf to Jerusalem. Saewulf’s pilgrimage account is the first to survive after the Crusaders’ conquest of Jerusalem. Little is known of the author beyond his name and the dates of his pilgrimage.
I’ve always been attracted to the concept of a pilgrimage. I have friends who have traveled the Camino and sing its praises. However given my football knees and my aversion to flying, I suspect the only pilgrimage I will take will be during Lent.
One lesson most pilgrims learn about their journey, especially modern journeys, is that they bring too much baggage. They say that all of the guesthouses along the Camino have closets full of stuff that people don’t need. It’s stuff they decided to let go, it was dead weight not serving a purpose.
Our Lenten journey begins with each of us carrying far too much baggage. Our sacrifice often teaches that there is something that isn’t doing us much good, and is something we can do without. Our internal process of meditation and prayer often reveals internal baggage we need to let go, as well.
Lent is a time to let go both the external and internal. When Lent ends we discover that our load is a lot less than when we started.