The Road of Brightness, by Michael Mitton
No one is sure who first suggested undertaking a pilgrimage to Assisi. But a highly improbable group of friends and acquaintances from Dingle, Ireland, decide to do just that. And the new local priest, Father Kilbar, agrees to lead them, although he has never been there before.
The week in the Monastero San Giuseppe proves to be far more than a sightseeing trip. Each day, after morning devotions, the pilgrims visit one or other of the sites associated with Saint Francis or his friend Saint Clare. In each location, some member of the group experiences an otherworldly encounter that has the effect of healing their half-hidden hang-ups.
Instrumental in all these supernatural meetings is once again the mysterious Irishman with the even stranger name of Dorchadas. We met him in previous tales.
For me, this book highlights two quite profound premises:
- The timeless world inhabited by heavenly spirits and past saints overlaps with our present world far more than we usually assume. Deep memory, as it is called here, may allow us to interact with angels or long-deceased persons. Such encounters can be both revealing and therapeutic. All are inspired and arranged by the God of love, who sent His Son into the world. They are elements of His efforts to bring us back into fellowship with Himself.
- A person’s background may have been horrendously broken. They may have led an immoral or criminal life. Their beliefs may be wildly esoteric. But no such person is beyond the reach of that loving God. He seeks us out with a view to restoring our defects.
Rev. Mitton succeeds in bringing the quirky characters to life and recounts their otherworldly experiences with great vividness and realism. This is a follow-up book to the Dorchadas trilogy, but can be appreciated without having read the earlier tales.