The pilgrims paused on the ancient stones in the mountain gap.
Behind them stretched the roadway they had traveled.
Already a far journey… was it a lifetime?
Ahead, mist hid the track.
Unspoken, the question hovered:
Why go on? Is life not short enough?
Why seek to pierce its mystery?
Why venture further on strange paths, risking all?
Surely that is a gamble for fools.. or lovers.
Why not return comfortably to the known road?
Why be a pilgrim still?
A voice they knew called to them saying:
This is Trasna, the crossing place.
Choose! Go back if you must,
You will find your way easily by yesterday’s fires
there may be life in the embers yet.
If that is not your deep desire, stand still.
Lay down your load.
Take your life firmly in your two hands,
[Gently.. you are trusted with something precious]
While you search your heart’s yearnings:
What am I seeking? What is my quest?
When your star rises deep within,
Trust yourself to its leading.
You will have the light for first steps
This is Trasna, the crossing place. Choose!
.This is Trasna, the crossing place. Come!
[Sr Raphael Considine PBVM]
As you look back over these months of COVID, what do you see?
How does your soul’s journey seem to you?
What have you gained?
How have you grown or changed?
What changes do you notice in what you value?
Where are you being called to go next?
These are real questions I’m asking each one of you. I ask them now at this time when sixteen months of the COVID pandemic have brought unexpected challenges to our lives. Many of us are exhausted from the stress of anxiety, the suffering of loved ones, the daily crises erupting through the effects of climate change, economic inequality, political unrest as the ground beneath our feet reveals fissures…
Whether it’s clear in what ways we’ve been changed, our life on this planet has changed, even as the poet Yeats once wrote, “Changed utterly….” Yet as Yeats’ poem continues, “a terrible beauty is born.”
Look at the way compassion is breaking us open, calling us to radical change: we cannot any longer deny the inadequacy of our social fabric, our market driven economy, to solve the crises now arising everywhere, especially in the devastation of our earth-home, our true Mother.
I invite you to reflect on this image of Hecate, Greek Goddess of the Crossroads. Make note of the responses that arise in your heart.