Saturday, May 30, 2009

Some wonder, "why is a pilgrimage is necessary?"...

Catholic pilgrimages

This I read on link above and thought it was a great answer to the question:

Why go on pilgrimage?

A priest friend of ours wrote the following: The Catholic Encyclopedia defines a pilgrimage as traveling to a place "to receive [a] spiritual benefit.." Still, why is it necessary to travel? Can't we just pray at home and in our Churches? Of course, we can---and we should. However, at home and in our parish Church our day-to-day life, with all its cares and concerns, is close at hand, and often impinges on those prayers. Traveling to a holy site gives us a healthy separation from day-to-day life. Then we are more free to open our hearts to the movement of the Spirit. Furthermore, I believe there are some places on this earth where the veil that separates the natural from the supernatural is very thin---Lourdes for example. To go to such a place and pray is to avail ourselves of God's gifts for us there, to gain new spiritual insight, new hope, and a new understanding of our heavenly Father's will for us. These are ample reasons to go on pilgrimage. The rewards always make the effort more than worthwhile.

God bless,

Fr. David

What my husband and I like to do, since we don't have exceeding cash/wealth, is go to places near where we live. Last weekend we went to Missouri. Last Fall we went to South Dakota and last summer to a shrine in western Nebraska. So within a few miles, even to a rural Catholic Church,or a state away are many Shrines, consecrated holy ground and when your heart is 'seeking God' can be just as rewarding as a pilgrimage to Europe or Mexico. We are pilgrims and the most important thing is to have that 'seeking more of God' that desire for deeper conversion in our hearts. I do recommend a pilgrimage to Rome if possible, which I was blessed to be on in 2007. But don't overlook the simple weekend or even a day trip to a nearby retreat center or Catholic Church or shrine you can find listed by state. You'll be surprised how a change of scenery can bring a new calm to your soul, a new hope in your heart, and when you're seeking God, or Our Lady, they will show up in many places most obscure, like little beacons, little "light houses" to illumine your mind, and bring you back to a silence inside that we so often are able to neglect due to the busyness and sometime hectic nature of our day to day schedules and routines. "Go" and "Come and see" are what we need to hear the Holy Spirit saying to our hearts. "Come away" for even Jesus needed to do so, how can we think we don't need to or continue to put off that little day trip? That road trip to a new place close in proximity could open up your heart and soul to God anew, and it's pleasing to God and Our Lady that you take the time to 'go' to them, seeking them and then listening to that "still small voice" whispering to us. A long drive in the car for a day WITHOUT radio or much talking is a wonderful way to 'see' God in a new place and hear His voice.

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