“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” (Soren Kierkegaared)
On Saturday, 28th March 2015, a group of friends and students from UL Campus, led by Fr John Campion SDB, Sr Sarah O’Rourke FMA, Fr Lukasz Nawrat SDB, and myself Margaret O’Connor, travelled from Limerick to attempt the challenging climb of our native Croagh Patrick.
You may well ask what was the motivation for this endeavour. In dreadful wind and rain, and knowing well of the doubtful footing at its peak, the reasoning was different for each pilgrim who undertook the journey.
It had physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual challenges of varying degrees for each person who undertook this perilous struggle to reach the Church steeple surrounded by mist and clouds at the top of the peak.
Many in the group needed much encouragement, physical assistance and a sharing of supplies. However, the sense of companionship and bonded friendship grew more and more palpable with every difficult step taken.
We called on our Naomh Pádraig, our patron saint, and had to trust in God to guide and protect our footsteps.
The words of St John Bosco came to my mind: “The young are at the centre of all we do” and, for many of us on that day, we depended on their physical strength, their enthusiasm and stamina to get us through.
The sense of personal achievement and satisfaction at overcoming our fears and anxieties and succeeding to reach our destination safely will remain with each of us always.
What a privilege it was to share our faith, our good health and to enjoy the wonderful blessings with which God’s creation has endowed us.
John F. Kennedy once said: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget, that the highest appreciation of all, is not to utter words, but to live them.”