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Tuesday to Walsingham

Lost in Central London; found in Little Walsingham

rain 52 °F

Tuesday, my load lightened to a manageable size, I had the Club’s Full English Breakfast (which guarantees one won’t be hungry until at least 4.00PM), buttoned up the room and went to fetch the car. Avis had a VW Golf, TDI with 5 speed manual, and less than 2,000 miles. This is the car that will come to us in the US as a 2014 model. It is very sleek, and has a feature that is very *green*: when you come to a traffic light, and put it in neutral, the engine shuts off and doesn’t idle. Then, when it’s time to go, you engage the clutch, and the engine starts right up. This takes a bit of getting used to.

The Avis place is just on the opposite side of Waterloo Station. But I got so lost that I had to plug in the Nigel (GPS) to find my way back to the Club!

Cases secured, I hit the road for Walsingham, going through East London, which has a very large concentration of Muslims, and is home to London’s largest Mosque. Finally to the Motorway, I was soon on to two lane roads, and then I came upon Walsingham Road, and was at the Shrine by 2.30PM, listening to BBC3 (classical music) the whole way.

I was billeted in the College, a residence for the Shrine Administrator and other priests; in S. Hugh’s. My room, on the second floor, traverses up a narrow staircase, making a 180° turn as it goes. There were two other priests in the house.

As it turns out, T-Th is a big parish retreat time, currently. So, I attended Mass in the Holy House and bore the chalice. After supper, there was a healing Liturgy, which I found very moving.

First there is the Sprinkling. Water from the Holy Well is taken, you sip it, the sign of the cross is made upon your forehead, and then you open your hands and water is poured upon your open hands. Next there was the laying of of hands. I stood in line, and a young woman heard my intentions, and simply laid hands upon me; no words were spoken. Next came the Sacrament of Holy Unction.

The Church was packed to overflowing. Confessions were offered, and people were waiting in line for a long time to make their Confession; they had to add a fourth priest. There were two fine sermons, and lots of music with gusto.

When it was all over, we simply left the Church in silence. As I returned to S. Hugh’s I saw the open glass room of the confessionals, and could see a young person making her confession. My heart was tranquil, yet troubled by God’s questions. I went to my rooms and sat and thought.

I found myself a bit overwhelmed, as I oftentimes do here. I heard God speaking to me, and he was asking me questions. I know it’s a truism that God can speak to you anywhere, anytime; and thankfully He does. But He often chooses to speak to people, at least me, in holy places such as Walsingham. I hear his voice in many places; I always hear his voice here. It’s why I keep coming back; my 7th visit I believe.

If you’ve never been, you simply don’t know what you’re missing. This is their website:

Posted by stbrides 14:00 Archived in United Kingdom

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