To embark upon a pilgrimage is to travel, in one sense, from the City of Man to the City of God. It is a walk into the holy landscape of the Gospels where we can contemplate the Divine Word and it that stillness listen to the Divine Silence. These two arms of Christ hold is in being, in esse, and nurture within us a response to the embrace of Love.
To The Shrine
We invite you to make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Tomorrow we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Holy Mother blesses all who allow themselves to be lead to her son Jesus. But apart from our scheduled feast days you can visit at any time and place yourself in the desert of reflection and Communion. Daily Mass and confessions await all pilgrims as do the graces they confer to feed our souls.
For those who are unable by immediate or long-term circumstances to embark upon a long physical journey, we invite you to sojourn in prayer and reflection on smaller scales. This can take the form of a daily walk, a weekly drive to a designated site of pilgrimage in your area, or even a spiritual walk through a book, or online article that describes a distant holy site and then 'pilgrimizing' the trek through prayers and a reflection upon the encounter with Christ therein. There are many virtual-pilgrimage sites to aid in such journeys available online.
Practical Suggestions for Daily Spiritual Pilgrimages
Let's take St. Mark's in Florence as an example. There is a beautiful article in Regina Magazine this month about the unique circumstance of the Church in Florence, the ancient site of pilgrimage but also the struggles of the faith in Italy. It reads...
THE BASILICA IS DEDICATED to Saint Mark, Venice’s patron saint. One of the four evamgelists, St. Mark’s distinctive symbol is the winged lion, which is recurrent in the city’s decoration and even in the flag of the Venetian Republic – one of the world’s oldest. His body is buried in the Basilica, after having been famously purloined from Islamic Alexandria by two Venetian merchants in 828. However, St Mark’s relics are not by any means the only relics in Venice, as the city actually preserves the bodies of 15 saints.
Place yourself in the posture of prayer and pilgrim on. You can even take a mini-pilgrimage daily once you establish the routine, of Holy Mass, spiritual reading and prayer, and a trek to an exotic Catholic Shrine.
This simple prayer format may be helpful.
1. The Daily Reading | THE DAILY GOSPEL
2. Isaiah 2:2-5--Let us walk in the light of the Lord.
3. Pilgrimage Prayer
God is the beginning and the end of life's pilgrimage.
Lord, be the companion of our journey.
Father all-holy, of old you made yourself the guide and the way for your people as they wandered in the desert; be our protection as we begin this journey, so that we may return home again in safety.
You have given us your only Son to be our way to you; make us follow him faithfully and unswervingly.
You gave us the Virgin Mary as the image and model for following Christ; grant that through her example we may live a new life.
You guide your pilgrim Church on earth through the Holy Spirit; may we seek you in all things and walk always in the way of your commandments.
You lead us along right and peaceful paths; grant that we may one day see you face to face in heaven.
4. Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14 R. (see v. 4) One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord. Amen
And there it is -- you've pilgrimized your day.
May God, whose goodness inspires in you all that you desire and achieve, strengthen your devotion by his blessing.