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SATURDAY 30th May 2009: Kingdom of Truth and of Life

Under the patronage of Saint Paul the Apostle

During the day Chapter leaders should present what we know about Saint Paul, the patron chosen by tour Holy Father the Pope for this year. Chapters should be given biographical details including in particular saint Pauls conversion., his trials and his teaching. We should show in particular how the example of Saint Paul illustrates perfectly the search for and the spreading of the Kingdom of Truth and of Life.

Pilgrimage Send Off from Notre Dame of Paris

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life
John 14,6

Our pilgrimage in search of the Kingdom of God now starts. We have come to search for God., and in various degrees we are conscious of our search to belong to Him. Our Lord teaches us I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. This mornings departure of the pilgrimage in itself can help illustrate very well this teaching of Our Lord and our chosen theme, startt by inviting the pilgrims to welcome into their hearts the graces that will abound during these three days.

Once there is sufficient calm, before the first halt of the morning

Presentation of the Pilgrimage

Presentation of the Pilgrimage

This presentation made by the chapter leader is one of the most important moments in the pilgrimage. This is the moment that the chapter should be reminded of the aims of our pilgrimage, at the same time creating a climate of confidence among the pilgrims. This presentation should not limit itself to a long list of rules but in a convincing manner should give pilgrims the desire to comply with the spirit of the pilgrimage for the three days of the walk. The presentation should therefore include the following :

How the pilgrimage operates, what the three-day walk entails, and remind pilgrims of the spirit of prayer and penance
Presentation of the theme that will form the subject matter of the different instructions over the three days. It will be necessary to define and repeat every day what is Joy, Morality, Virtue, and in particular the cardinal virtues that will be the recurrent theme of our pilgrimage.
Repeat the introduction given at the very beginning of the pilgrimage.
Practical points, what can or cannot be done, what is expected of a pilgrim, reading and commenting on the undertakings of the pilgrim, in particular on dress, attitude and modesty, Christian virtues often badly understood in a world invaded by hedonism.
Invite pilgrims to the Saturday night vigil as well as to Benediction on Sunday night. Point out that the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and awaits our visit each night in the chapel set up in both of the camp sites.
Make an explicit announcement that within the chapter there will be moments of silence and contemplation which everyone is expected to observe. This is to redress a tendency in the last few years towards commotion and excessive noise during the pilgrimage.
Explain what may not be obvious, why the use of Latin etc

These above points should be covered again at various times over the three days. Chapter leaders should communicate these guiding principals clearly and charitably. If need be they can ask a priest to help them.

Between the morning halt and Mass at Midday

Presentation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

It is good here to remind ourselves what is the Mass, the non-bloody renewal of the Holy Sacrifice of the Cross. Attention should be paid to carefully explaining certain aspects of the rite, particularly those points that might be surprising to some (Latin, kneeling, the priest facing God as opposed to facing the congregation, silence, Communion on the tongue.). Draw attention to the beauty of the liturgy, the sense of mystery, of the sacred, of the transcendental and of the direct connection with the Doctrine of the Church. This presentation should be made delicately and with charity but without watering down the teaching.

Seminarians and Religious are at your disposition to talk on this subject, dont hesitate to ask for their help at any moment.

Sermon at Mass

The truth about our sinfulness about our impoverished condition

We belong to God from the day we were baptised, yet because of our sins a part of us is far from God. The first thing to do is to look truthfully at ourselves, in look squarely at our condition of sinner and to commit to a good confession as soon as possible. In this way we will help grow a life of grace in ourselves.

The Sacrament of Penance (During the afternoon, and to be repeated everyday of the pilgrimage.)

This instruction continues on from the sermon at Mass and accompanies the afternoon meditations. It should incite horror for our sins and explain the sacrament of Penance, the necessity of availing of it to purify ourselves, reinforce our friendship with God and renew our life of Grace. The instruction should include how sacramental confession takes place and the immense benefit that is to be obtained from it. This topic should be revisited over the three days with the aid of priests, religious and seminarians who will have prepared their instructions. Experience has shown that the deciding moment for the pilgrim does not happen straight away but will take some time.

Encouraging pilgrims with words is very necessary, but the example of chapter leaders and assistants going to Confession will also help greatly to convince pilgrims to go to Confession.

Beginning of the Afternoon

Pilate said to Him, What is Truth
John 18:38

In this meditation we reflect a few moments on this conversation between Pilate and Jesus. After having recalled and placed in context this episode from the Gospel, we can show how Our Lord in particular, author of Life, conveys his rule over all things, including over worldly powers. The reaction of Pilate is that of a political leader or of each one of us in our own lives when we compromise with truth or with good. We seek what is called human esteem , this vice that paralyses us and prevents from defending truth through fear of being unpopular, rejected is this not one of the great causes of the weakness of good people ?

During the afternoon

Appetite for truth and good doctrine

We summit ourselves to Our Lord, we accept His kingdom of Truth. We need to demanding with ourselves and to first of all nourish our intelligence with healthy doctrine. The fist thing is to know the Catechism. How can we live and hope for eternal joy without knowing firmly what we must believe (The Creed), hope (The Our Father), do (The Commandments) and the means (the sacraments) by which to attain it. Of course we are well disposed, and so also are our pilgrims, but if our minds are not nourished with sound doctrine we will be fragile and confused. Make the firm commitment to inform ourselves (catechism, encyclicals, books of authority)

End of the Afternoon

Foster a life in us of prayer and the sacraments

To accept and work for the Kingdom of Life is first of all to nourish our soul by the means Our Lord has put at our disposal. In this meditation we should show the analogy between supernatural life and natural life, both need to be looked after and nourished. In supernatural life the food is first of all prayer and availing of the sacraments. A few quotes from the catechism will help us to give good definitions of prayer and the sacraments. Conclude by showing how they help foster the kingdom of truth in ourselves. This meditation is the bridge between today Saturday and tomorrow the Feast of Pentecost, as we talk about the Kingdom of Grace.

Sunday 31st May 2009

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