I’m enjoying, and appreciating, my sabbatical. A priest is granted a sabbatical period away from work to renew energy, to rest, to reflect and to pray. I’m trying to do all those things!
One of the foci for my sabbatical is experiencing and reflecting on ‘liminal places’ or ‘thin places’, that is, places where the spiritual world and the material world seem very close. I’ve visited a few different places which could be called liminal places, and I have appreciated the importance of one’s attitude to such places – how it helps to go expectantly, as a pilgrim.
Rocamadour, which I visited a few weeks ago, was an amazing place in central France. Now not so great a pilgrim centre as Lourdes or Walsingham, but unique and laden with prayer and history. Pennant Melangell was a beautiful special quiet place in the centre of a remote welsh valley. The small cave of St Robert of Knaresborough was a place of quiet seclusion on the banks of the River Nidd. Just three examples of very different places where many have felt close to God and where they have come away with a different perspective on life and the world.
Some such places are well known, and are centres of pilgrimage, others are much more personal or private, and may be places which evoke memory and peace in our own life stories. They may be very close to home or far away. Here on this blog there are one or two other examples, for example from Vilnius here and – at a King’s shrine here.
Have you such a special place? Have you a place where you feel or have felt God to be very close?
Do read the interesting comments below. If you wish please do share about a place which is a thin place for you in the comments here. Thank you.