The next morning, we walked the first two hours in silence, as we would
do most mornings. In that silence, I became even more aware of my deep joy and
gratitude to God. My cup was overflowing, like the waterfall by the path.
Crossing the old railway bridges the wind reminded me of the Holy Spirit and
threatened to carry my hat away. The cool, damp, dark tunnels invited me to
pray for the light of Christ to shine in dark places, in me and elsewhere.
To cover the 650+ km
of the Ignatian Way in 11 days, we relied on buses as well as our feet to get
us to Manresa.We particularly appreciated having the bus as we
climbed over 1000m into the spectacular high mountains to Arantzazu, where an impressive
Franciscan monastery is perched. Arantzazu, a centre for Marian devotion, was
the first of many places where Ignatius stopped to pray to the Virgin/Our Lady
out of his deep devotion to
From Loyola in the Basque region to Manresa in Catalunya, the landscape varies enormously. The landscape informed and shaped my conversations with God as I journeyed, along with the suggested grace, reflections, scripture and prayers for each day. The Psalmist writes, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1). It seemed to me that everywhere I looked, the Lord was speaking to me: the small, shrivelled apple revealing something of my own heart; the spiky, sharp plant reminding me of Jesus’ passion and death; the beauty of wild flowers and birdsong that filled the air, leading me to praise our Lord and Creator.