During my visit to Quebec last week, I found myself on an impromptu sort of pilgrimage to the famous (although unbeknownst to me) Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre.
While I was raised and confirmed Catholic and Saint Anne is a Catholic church, I’ve been open to learning from other religions and methods of spirituality especially in the past few years or so. Walking through and exploring the chapels, shrines, and stations, throughout the basilica and it’s grounds revealed a few insights I’d like to share.
1. Light and darkness are universal themes in spiritual practice.
To be honest, 9 years of Catholic school turned me off of religious and spiritual routine (even meditation) for quite some time. When I started to open up to complementary belief systems, I focused on the biggest, over-arching, positive lessons instead of the details. A big theme which was reconfirmed for me last weekend was the power of light. As I lit a votive candle and read the prayer displayed, I thought how representative light is of many positive emotions-love, joy, kindness, peace, wisdom, energy. I was really overcome with wonder to see such a non-elaborate sentiment and too, to relate it back to my Reiki practice, which derives all of its power from grounding and from light.
2. We are all human on this Earth and experience similar vulnerabilities.
People come from all over the world to pray to Saint Anne for special interventions for healing. Whatever plight they experienced in the past or whatever ailment they are suffering from in the present, all are dealing with the reality of the struggles that face our human race. We are only human and experience weakness to natural disaster, disease, and evil. Will these ills render us powerless? Or will they make us stronger?
3. As humans we seek connection and guidance and most of the time need to
trust that we will be provided just that which we need.
Whatever struggles we face, when weakened, tired, and weary, some of us may start to
question. “Why?” “Why me?” “Will everything be ok?” We may seek connection to answers and guidance. At the end of the day, life promises no miracles, except the miracle of life itself. All the pilgrims who visit Saint Anne and pray for healing and anyone who seeks answers must learn to trust that what is needed will be provided in the end. The rest, (the good people, the restaurants, and the scenic outlooks) are left for us to enjoy them while we can.