Laurence Freeman led a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in February (16-23). The theme was “A Contemplative Journey to the Holy Land”, with participation of a very international group. You can read sharing from some participants:
Paul Dunn, USA
Its hard for me to summarize how meaningful this pilgrimage was for me because it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I am an Oblate with the WCCM and couldn’t imagine visiting the Holy Land without a Contemplative community to journey with. Father Laurence far exceeded my hopes for a deeply prayerful and fully alive spiritual experience. We visited practically every holy site mentioned in the four mysteries of the rosary. I will forever more, experience greater meaning while meditating on each decade of the rosary because of this trip. Because I was there. I touched, heard, and saw each holy site and have real personal memories of these sites. Every day we took turns praying morning and evening prayer (from the divine office). Fr Laurence celebrated Mass each day with us and we meditated together at almost every holy site. Also, Fr. Laurence led us in Lectio at every holy site we visited. This made the bible stories become fully alive and present to all of us.A few peak experiences for me were sailing on the Sea of Galilee, renewing my baptismal vows on the banks of the Jordan River, walking the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross), kissing the spots where Jesus was born and where he died, and praying at the Wailing Wall.It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Lina Lee, Hong Kong
My heart is still overflowing with joy and gratitude after the most well organized Holy Land Pilgrimage led by Fr Laurence who guided us everywhere with his insightful and wise teachings. Not only reconnected with Christ at all the biblical holy sites, but we pilgrims from diverse background and different countries were also united in one heart and one mind walking with Christ and His apostles, experiencing His presence all the more. I came to convey my deep gratitude to the gracious Lord for rescuing my life physically, not knowing that there is so much in store -never had I such contentment from union and solidarity from our pilgrims as one group, one family with every one’s faces becoming radiant like angels. Assuredly this will be preciously cherished and remain a source of enlightenment of strength in the days to come, whether sunny or rainy, Let us sing praises to the Lord for granting us a pilgrimage of the heart and to the heart!
Kheng Hua Tan
My name is Kheng Hua Tan,one of the pilgrims to Holy Land. It’s been a very special re awakening of my drooping spirit. In particular is the experience at the Church of the Beatitudes. While walking around inside the church, a thought came through and it goes ‘I died for you. Will you do the same for me.’ I was totally overwhelmed that I ‘sank ‘ to the floor,crying helplessly, totally caught and soaked at the moment. It felt like a complete rebirth and recharged of my inner self. My faith has taken on a new dimension with a deeper desire for holiness and living in the Spirit of Christ.It’s been both a revelation and gift for my 1st Holy Land pilgrimage.