This fall Spiritual Direction Colorado is venturing into new territory by offering a pilgrimage to visit the Stations of the Cross in San Luis, Colorado. What is a pilgrimage? Phil Cousineau in his book The Art of Pilgrimage says, “To people the world over, pilgrimage is a spiritual exercise, an act of devotion to find a source of healing, or even to perform a penance. Always, it is a journey of risk and renewal. For a journey without challenge has no meaning; one without purpose has no soul.”
What will we find in San Luis and Southern Colorado? San Luis is the oldest town in Colorado and is predominately Hispanic, with strong ties to Spain’s religious, cultural, and artistic traditions. The adobe architecture and layout of the town are influenced by these historical and cultures traditions that shaped early communities of Southern Colorado.
We will also find The Stations of the Cross Shrine in San Luis built by the Sangre de Cristo Parish who wanted a place where members of all faiths could find consolation and peace in their lives. If you have ever been to Southern Colorado you know spiritual traditions have deep roots. The first settled of this area brought with them Spanish and Mexican traditions of communal ownership of land and water, a strong allegiance to their language and customs, and intense religious faith.
For a few days we will be immersed in this Spanish/Mexican influence as we learn about the culture, visit the workshop of the sculptor, and immerse ourselves in The Stations of the Cross. This will be a quieter, simpler way of being as we journey to this town that closes its shop doors and rolls up its sidewalks early in the evening.
How will our focus deepen? How will our attention to the path be altered? How will our journey be transformed from a most ordinary journey into a sacred journey, a pilgrimage? Each of us who journey to this most sacred spot will come away with different answers, with a different focus, with a different newness of spirit. The most common greetings on Spain’s Camino de Santiago is “Buen Camino” (Good Way/Road). I wish those taking this journey “Buen Camino!”