Hear my prayer, O Lord, and my supplication: give ear to my tears. Be not silent: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner as all my fathers were. ~ Psalms 38:13
My family was invited to take a pilgrimage. It was an answer to many prayers and a great consolation. We have always desired to take a pilgrimage as a family.
The word "pilgrim" comes from the Latin "peregrinus," meaning "foreigner" or "stranger," and in the deepest sense, that is what all Catholics are: a people whose home is not this world, but the Heavenly Jerusalem, toward which our lives move us. But in that journey to share in St. John's vision, we often make smaller journeys, or "pilgrimages" -- that is, journeys made to sacred places for the purpose of veneration, to ask help from or thank God and His Saints, to fulfill a vow, or to make penance. ~ Fisheaters
We had two-weeks notice for this journey. We joyfully accepted the invitation and trusted that the Good Lord would work out the details. Dad and I covered it all in prayer. We chose to go with the bare essentials to practice detachment, ALL FOR. The Littles were on board and ready for the faithfilled adventure.
Our plans were foiled when the second date set for the pilgrimage was canceled. The weather forecast was bleak and the coordinators wanted decent conditions since this was our first go at such a journey. We did not lose peace but the rescheduling meant that Dad couldn’t make the adjustment at work. I was not ready to brave the journey with all the Littles and no Dad. Praise God, Dad insisted that Rose and I go on the pilgrimage. Rose eagerly accepted Dad’s proposal. It was not going to be an easy endeavor for her since she was still recovering from a dislocated knee cap but she was committed. I had no worries about leaving Dad with all the Littles but I was a tad apprehensive since it meant that I would have to wean Dragonfly. Needless to say, we moved forward to walk for Christ.
The rescheduling of the pilgrimage turned out to be another beautiful consolation. We were on pilgrimage during the same time as the Chartres Pilgrimage and Pentecost Sunday - Decent of the Holy Ghost.
Chartres, is a traditional pilgrimage that we hope to (physically) make soon. I had been spiritually preparing to be with the pilgrims at Chartres, since 2010.
The Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage is a three-day walk from Notre-Dame de Paris to Notre-Dame de Chartres, approximately 75 miles. Pilgrims are organized into groups of 20-65 people, that are referred to as “chapters”. The “walk” is through the streets of Paris, and then into the countryside. It can be muddy, rocky, and demanding-and the rewards of such a penitential exercise are eternal. Good sturdy shoes are a must. Each chapter is accompanied by at least one chaplain, who hears confession and gives spiritual direction to each pilgrim who avails himself of the priest’s presence. This pilgrimage originated in the 12th century, with interruptions for the various wars our European brethren seem to find themselves in from time to time. A plenary indulgence is granted, under the usual conditions. ~ FSSP
More on Chartres from a secular view.
I considered our pilgrimage, Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Bethlehem, to be a mini-Chartres Pilgrimage. The Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Bethlehem was a three-day walk from San Juan Bautista Mission to Carmel Mission, approximately 45 miles.
Our Lady of Bethlehem, is The Oldest Shrine of Our Lady on the West Coast of America.
The pilgrimage was made for the following intentions:
- To make Our Lady of Bethlehem known and Loved
- In reparation for the offenses committed against the sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary
- For Conversion of our own hearts, our families, Town, State, Country, the World
- Personal reparation and private intentions of family, friends and bloggers (whom have asked for prayers)
I hope to post a brief overview of our physical journey, in the following weeks. As for my faith journey, I’m still unraveling the many blessings and fruits.
We might journey in a spirit of penance, fasting and giving alms along the way. We might do so joyously, in thanksgiving for blessings received, or in a spirit of supplication for blessings desired. Or we might do so simply to be blessed by being in the presence of holy relics or by walking on ground hallowed by Our Lord or the Saints. Whatever our more particular purposes, leaving behind what is comfortable to us and visiting a strange place is a way to get out of a "spiritual rut" and step outside our normal routines which can sometimes keep us distracted or focused on the wrong things -- or perhaps focused too much on otherwise good things. When made with the right attitude, pilgrimage is a way to "lose" our lives for His sake.
+++All for the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, all through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, all in union with St. Joseph.+++