”Come, healing cross, for me prepare it!
My Saviour, lay on me its weight,
And if the burden grow too great,
I’ll seek thy help, O Lord, to bear it”
This wonderful aria from the St Matthew Passion had me in tears yesterday, as I was privileged to be present to hear the stunning performance of the Passion at the Royal Festival Hall yesterday. It seemed to encapsulate my own life and brought to mind all the joy and also sorrow and difficulties-that I have experienced during the thirty six years I have been at the helm of Pax Travel. To see the ravages that have overtaken the people of Syria, and to a lesser extent Lebanon and Ukraine, where we walked with our pilgrims not so long ago, brought those beautifully-sung words into perspective. We all have our own crosses to bear, but are kept going by the promise of redemption, and the great joy and pleasure that we receive from letters such as the one I received from the family who have just returned from our recent Pax pilgrimage to Rome:
Dear Pax Travel,
“This is the first opportunity I’ve had since returning from Rome to thank and commend you for the 'Trip of a Lifetime'. I had visited Rome before,but the rest of our party had not, and we couldn’t have wished for a more perfect trip. From the first phone call I made to the Pax office back in January, where Maighread dealt with question after mundane question patiently and politely (…) To the excellent care we received – particularly for my elderly parents and their friend, who are all relatively slow moving, from Cora and Ludo, I simply cannot praise or thank you all enough. It was wonderful to be part of such a small informal group. What a truly wonderful, moving and holy experience. I have every intention of using a Pax Travel again, either with a family group or with my parish – I will not be able to recommend the company highly enough.”
Thank you, Fran. On reading your letter, I shed tears of joy!