Cliffs of Moher


Sometimes things do not go as planned.  Most of the time, things do not go as planned.  This does not mean you should trash the schedule and sit back and wait for things to happen, but simply, that you should rejoice and seek to glorify God within the context of the “altered” plans.  Too often these surprises or changes incite frustration, but when you are seeking to do the Will of God you can joyfully accept the unforeseen twists in “road” by surrendering to Providence.  Besides, God knows our hearts and needs so much better than we do.

More than a week and a half into the Pilgrimage Walk that is Crossroads, the walkers and leaders are “buckled down” and set on walking.  Without special grace and constantly reminding yourself of the purpose of the walking and praying, it is easy to think only of getting from point A to point B.  It was at just such time in the walk that we ran into some difficulties.  What at first seemed like a problem due to dangerous windy roads, no shoulder to walk on, and blazing traffic turned out to be just the gift that we all needed.  The detour began after driving several miles ahead in order to find a suitable place to continue walking.  Before finding a good spot to pick up, the road led us to a beautiful lake, which inspired a quick left turn down a narrow lane.  The crew spilled out of the minibus and sped to the waterside to drink in the refreshing breeze and breathtaking view.  I believe that this water, which is so symbolic in our Catholic Faith, served to wash away that temptation of limiting ourselves to serving and praising God in only one way.  That cleansing (that moment of grace) allowed me to remember that we are called to praise God in all things.  It was the sight of such beauty and the reception of such grace that inspired Patricia to suggest visiting the Cliffs of Moher.  Unanimously, the crew voted to visit the cliffs.  I, recognizing the danger of the road and the presence of the new gift, thanked God for coming into our plans.

The Cliffs of Moher, in their immensity and grandeur inspire awe.  The crashing waves of the ocean against them, inspire awe.  The “water as far as the eye can see” inspires awe.  True wonder and awe come from God through the moving of the Holy Spirit.  The wind moving over the cliffs reminded us of that Spirit .  And that Spirit inspires all good and holy thoughts, reflections, words, and actions.  It was the Spirit that inspired in all of us a renewed sense of mission.  It was our joy in prayer as we overlooked the sea that reminded us that God desires us to be happy.  It is this happiness that has rejuvenated us and led us to tie our laces and hit the road again.  No more point A to point B.  We walk, run, and pray for joy, we walk, run, and pray for life!

Tony Ertel