Spiritual Practice: Pilgrimage in Place

April 8, 2020
Angie Cecil
MDiv candidate Angie Cecil. Photo courtesy Angie Cecil

Angie Cecil, MDiv candidate, created an interior pilgrimage inspired by St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle. The pilgrimage, which was developed as part of the Memorial Church's Pilgrimage Project, can be made without leaving your living room. In the audio file, itinerary, and text below, Cecil leads the participant through each step of the journey.


As Christians, we prepare our souls for the end days of our Lenten journey, joined with communities of pilgrims experiencing our world in ways unfathomable and unknowable. Days filled with uncertainty and despair, but also with moments of abundance and joy. As we prepare, I offer you an inner pilgrimage through prayer based on The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila.  

The purpose on this pilgrimage is not to explicitly explore the seven dwellings of Teresa’s Interior Castle – although there is much to experience and I encourage you to explore Teresa’s writing on your own. This interior pilgrimage is to help us learn about and engage in the practices of prayer as a mode of travel through the interior rooms of the soul. We set out to imagine prayer, interiority, quietness, and solitude before God as a way to know ourselves in God.  

The prayer practices include contemplative writing, reading, psalmody, and a time of silent centering prayer. With Teresa’s prose and poetry as touchstones along the journey, I hope in this pilgrimage you find courage, rest, nourishment, consolation, or some other delight uncovered within your soul in God through the prayer practices. All you need for this journey are the recording and accompanying guide, a pen and paper to record your thoughts, and a timer.  

The itinerary is designed to take just more than an hour. Feel free to engage in the practices as your current life rhythm allows. Brave journey, dear friends.