Keeping it real

On my second visit to Assisi, a fellow pilgrim asked me, “What are you doing here?”

I told her, quite seriously, that St. Francis “won’t leave me alone”. She laughed.

I suppose it does sound funny. Imagine, an entirely new way to think of Francis….as the Tireless Nag of Assisi. Or, as the Patron Saint of Stalkers.

Not so far from the truth, for me at least. I first found, and I don’t know where or how, the famous “Prayer of St Francis” (you know, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…”) in high school. It wouldn’t leave me alone back then. But, I took a decades-long sabbatical from organized religion, sure I would never return. Well, we know how that goes sometimes.

A few years back, having rediscovered Francis, and my faith, and a new desire to keep seeking for my own spiritual path, I went for the first time to Assisi. I know we can find God anywhere, but this seemed like a sure bet. In Celtic spirituality it is said that heaven and earth are a mere three feet apart, but in the “thin places” that distance is even smaller. Many more than I would testify to the “thinness” of Assisi.

I have learned that it’s not enough to have the spiritual “warm fuzzies”. Ya gotta do something with them. I don’t think I am destined to be a Friar. But, as a Spiritual Director, and someone who has come to love travel, an idea was hatched. So, with love and encouragement from many, I have designed a spiritual pilgrimage in Assisi, and I share some of the details, below.



“Live The Questions” is a pilgrimage to the spiritual landmarks of Assisi, Italy, that mark significant events in the lives of Sts. Francis and Clare. You will have a unique opportunity to consider your own spiritual journey in light of theirs through the use of inspirational questions designed specifically around our daily site visits. 

We will begin on Sunday afternoon, October 9, 2011 and will conclude with dinner on Friday evening, October 14. Departures are Saturday morning, October 15.

St Anthony’s Guesthouse will host us. There are 3 single rooms and one double room available. Each room has its own toilet, and bath or shower. Breakfast is included.

Information about the guesthouse can be found here:

You can also find reviews on Tripadvisor:

Please contact me for the complete brochure, which includes retreat pricing and room rates/reservations. I can also offer travel suggestions to and from Assisi.
My email:
My phone: 347-489-6860 See More

About Soul Intention

"Spirituality is, ultimately, about what we do with...desire. What we do with our longings, both in terms of handling the pain and the hope they bring us, that is our spirituality." from The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser. Paraphrasing what Gerald May has said, in his book Will and Spirit, spirituality is our experience and interpretation of our relationship with the Sacred. The intent of this blog is to explore for myself, and to invite others to explore with me, just what is it we do with our desire? What is our spirituality? Mine has been shaped by many my formative years, by the Roman Catholic church. In the last decade, by the 12 steps. Most recently, by the Episcopal Church. And, always, always, by the sense that Nature helped to reveal the Great Mystery, of which we are all a part. So, my spirituality includes concrete practices, like the Steps, as well as probing more philosophical matters. I was certified, in January 2011, as a Spiritual Director by the Haden Institute. During those 21 months of study, which included a broad range of topics from Celtic Spirituality, to the Christian Mystics, to Jungian Depth psychology, I was given the space and time to ponder my own spiritual journey, hear about others' paths, and benefit from participation in an intentional community. My hope is that this blog can engender a similar conversation. Peace, Paul
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