Why Not Go on a Pilgrimage?

Crisis Magazine | 7/10/2018 | John Paul Meenan
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Just as the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, we might say that the first step on the road to sanctity is the realization that we are in exile, strangers and sojourners, knowing somehow, someway, we belong somewhere else. Ever since Adam and Eve cast themselves out of the Garden, we have been trying to find our way back. But an earthly paradise is no longer our home, and never really was, for God destined Man not for this world, however good it is, but for heaven, whose goodness we cannot imagine.

We are all therefore on pilgrimage in this journey we call “life,” from birth, through death, to eternal life where, as Leo XIII declared, we will truly begin to live.

Light - Pilgrimages - Part - Church - History

It is in this light that we should see those individual pilgrimages that form a significant part of the Church’s history and tradition, which always involve moving from a place that is pleasant, but more earthly and secular, to one that is better, more heavenly and transcendent. The world is indeed good, in itself, but it is the very beauty and splendor of the “world” that can lead us astray, becoming too comfortable and conformed to what is transitory, rather than focusing on the “one thing necessary,” in a word, God.

Each such pilgrimage is a window or sign of what this transitory life is “all about,” and helps focus, elevate, and perfect what prayers and intentions we bring along; but more of that in a moment.

Abraham - Journey - Land - Pilgrimage - Son

Abraham’s journey to the Promised Land was perhaps the first pilgrimage. The Son of God definitively sanctified this land, and all creation, in his own “pilgrimage” from heaven to Earth. In imitation, and for intercession, Christians have since that time made their own journey to what is now the “Holy Land,” no...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Crisis Magazine
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