Saturday, February 16, 2008

On-Line Pilgrimage

Paul Elie, in his beautifully crafted book The Life You Save Might Be Your Own describes the pilgrimage as "A journey taken in light of a story." Having heard of some great happening through the stories of others, the pilgrim embarks to experience this story. Whereas a tourist goes to the site in order to take a photo, the pilgrim sets out on the journey in order to be transformed. The fruits of the pilgrimage are carried neither by photograph nor videotape, but rather are born on the bodies and live on in the story of the pilgrim.

Many of us will not get a chance to make the sort of pilgrimage made famous by the Canterbury Tales. But during the Lenten season - a season of pilgrimage with Christ - I would like to draw your attention to a new venture at America Magazine.  

Jesuit Father James Martin narrates the story of Chimayo, known as the Lourdes of America. Father Martin offers the story behind Chimayo and recounts how it has become an important site for pilgrimage. In this Lenten season, perhaps we can be attentive to the pilgrimage we are each invited into - some of us through prayer, some on foot, some in the daily grind of living out the Christian life. 

1 comment:

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

In just under two months I am going to be walking some of the Camino of St James, starting in Le Puy in France. Probably I consider myself more a 'walker' than a 'pilgrim' but I am not actually sure such definitions are helpful.
I am a 'lapsed' Catholic. I went to Lourdes, as a curious tourist, was surprised by how prayer permeated the place, and had experiences that showed me something about the love of God. Was I then a pilgrim instead of a tourist? Who knows.
I might stumble upon some Catholic bits and pieces as I walk in France, and I hope I am open to what they might teach me. I think I will still prefer to think of myself as a walker, happy to be in the outdoors.