YEAR OF FAITH – “to be a pilgrim”

Post date: Aug 23, 2013 1:56:32 PM

John Bunyan’s words have been popular for nearly four hundred years, especially set to the tune which we recognise today, but the rest of the words are difficult to understand. I think that being a pilgrim, and going on a pilgrimage, means something different for each one of us.

A pilgrimage involves a journey to some special place. It can also be used in the sense of going back to somewhere that holds special memories for us and re-living our experiences, but we might find that our journey turns out to be different from what we expected. We often learn a great deal about ourselves and our relationships with others; and we sometimes see the face of Christ in the most unlikely people. If our destination has a connection to Our Lady, she always shows us the way to her son; and we might come back from a pilgrimage a little bit different from the people we were when we set out, even if we don’t see that immediately.

Of course, we do not have to make a physical journey to be a pilgrim. We can go on a journey, mentally, to discover something about God and about our relationship with him. The Church’s liturgical year encourages us to look upon the time of Advent and Lent as journeys of discovery; and there is the sense that the whole of our life as a Christian is a pilgrimage, following in the footsteps of Jesus, and imitating the way he lived his life. I think the words of the hymn “Amazing Grace” fit very well here. They make a good background to any pilgrimage.

Next Year of Faith discussion group at St. Hugh’s - Sat. 21st September after 10 am Mass.