Monday, January 13, 2014


"A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance." 

This word "pilgrimage" is stuck in my head. Maybe I have been reading too many blogs this New Year about people finding their "word" for the year or something. I'm not entirely sure why but it keeps reappearing. So I looked at the "online" definition and found the words "journey" and the phrase "search of spiritual significance". Hmmm. I feel like I have been doing that for the past two years working on my new book that will be released in March, "Visiting Mary: Her U.S. Shrines and their Graces". But when I try to tell myself that the word has been "experienced", something in my head keeps telling me, "No, not like that kind of pilgrimage." So, here we go. I am embracing the word "pilgrimage" for at least the month of January and maybe for the year but since I have a difficult time finishing anything, I'm starting with it for a month. I am paying attention to the daily journey, to where I believe the good Lord is leading me each day. Not just the rise and shine and give God your glory, glory journey but the "where are you going and why are you going there" journey and "who are these people God continually is putting in your path" journey.

What if we treated every day as if we were on a pilgrimage, a journey, a search of spiritual significance? What if we paid strict attention to the path, to the people, to the journey? What if nothing passed us by that did not get noticed as significant? I'll be writing each day of my pilgrimage in my journal just like I've always done. I'll share anything of great significance, if there is any, and together we will see if this word is in my head because it's, well, my head or if it is there for a purpose.

I wrote the above before taking the kids to school and going to Mass. The Magnificat offered in morning prayer, "I will lead the blind on their journey; by paths unknown I will guide them." The first reading from Samuel tells us of Elkanah as a man who "regularly went on pilgrimage from his city to worship the Lord". I take it for a sign.  Today we begin "ordinary time" and I begin my daily recognition of an ordinary "pilgrimage".

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