“Educate the mind, but never at the expense of the heart.” – Blessed Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross

I am home now after two weeks on the Notre Dame Trail. I tried to write each night, to reflect on the theme of the day and to record a journey that really can’t fully be expressed in words. But on the last two days of the Trail, I spent each waking moment (literally) trying to absorb every moment I could with my fellow pilgrims. As we returned to South Bend, I knew our time together was limited. Two weeks. 320 miles. 32 pilgrims. Countless stories. Hours of conversation. And miles and miles of love.

I learned so much on my pilgrimage: about myself, about my faith, about the founding of Notre Dame, about the history of Indiana, and about the Congregation of Holy Cross. I learned so much, I don’t even know all I have learned. It will take several weeks, maybe longer, to fully process how this pilgrimage has changed me.

I do notice some differences. I am more peaceful. (Maybe I am still tired.) I am more patient with my son who didn’t finish his summer work until the night before school started this week. I am more forgiving of those who used to annoy me quickly. I feel as though I am living in a state of grace, a renewed sense of spirit and a challenge to be – as Father Sorin declared – a powerful means for doing good.

“Doing good” means leading with your heart. Blessed Basil Moreau’s quote speaks to me because it reminds us to lead with our heart. Educate our minds, use our talents, be bold in our actions – but never at the expense of our heart. We are who we are because of the actions in our heart.