Day three begins

I opened my bedroom curtains to be met with the most fantastic view of the mountains and a clear blue sky. Whatever the day holds this is a lovely beginning. It is Trinity Sunday and we will be celebrating the Eucharist at Roncesvalles this afternoon.

Before that we will be walking around the old city of Pamplona and visiting its gothic cathedral before we have lunch. After lunch we will drive along the Pyrenees to the mountain village of Ibaneta. Then comes the first short walk of this pilgrimage.

It’s a 2 km walk to Roncesvalles where we will break for the Trinity Eucharist and then continue walking the 8 kms to Espinal, the legendary setting of the battles of Charlemagne and Roland against the Muslims. After visiting the sanctuary there we will return to Pamplona.

Our guide, Emma, was talking abut battles against the Muslims in the days of St Ignatius and the way in which St James, in some of the images of him, is seen as the champion of the Christians against the Muslims. Following that with the visit to Espina today is discomforting.

As I stand on ancient battlefields today I will pray for a deepening relationship between the Muslim and Christian communities and for those places where religion, and those who act misguidedly in the name of any religion, leads to the destruction of lives and communities. May the one God whom we worship lead us towards true reconciliation through respect and mutual understanding.

Holy God, faithful and unchanging: enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth, and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love, that we may truly worship you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.