A pilgrimage is an intentional action by a faithful person to experience the joy of the journey from here to heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says:
Pilgrimages evoke our earthly journey toward heaven and are traditionally very special occasions for renewal in prayer. For pilgrims seeking living water, shrines are special places for living the forms of Christian prayer “in Church.”(CCC 2691)
ABOUT PILGRIMAGE …
We Catholics get our passion for pilgrimage through our Jewish roots. Healthy Jews completed the journey from their home to Jerusalem at least once a year to make their offering at the Temple. The Passover Feast was a common time for pilgrimage.
Today Catholics make pilgrimages to many places in the world. The most popular places would probably be Rome and the Holy Land. But these are not the only places where a Catholic can make a pilgrimage. And the good news is, pilgrimages don’t have to require long periods of time or cost a lot of money. Every Catholic can integrate the “pilgrim’s spirit” into their faith.
THE SECRET …
The secret to pilgrimage has more to do with “prayer” than “place.” Almost any place that enables you to get out of your normal, comfort zones and lends itself to quiet prayer and reflection can be the site of a pilgrimage. Obviously, it’s more interesting and fun to visit the Holy Land or Rome than it is to go to a local park, but the real focus should be an encounter with God. And you can experience Him almost everywhere when you escape the bonds or your routine.
LOOKING FORWARD …
We’ll suggest short, low cost pilgrimage on the Catholic Roads website. We’ll also write short articles about our own pilgrimages so our readers better understand what’s really available to them. The good news is, you don’t have to have a lot of extra time or money to make pilgrimage a regular part of your life.
Check out the short video (below) by Steve Ray. It offers wonderful insights into the importance of pilgrimage to Catholics everywhere!