On Pilgrimage

A short quote from Jim Forest’s devotional book, Pilgrimage as a Way of Life (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2007):

“You can walk to some great shrine on a journey that takes weeks or months and fail to become a pilgrim.  Walking a pilgrimage route, wearing a pilgrim’s badge, and sleeping in pilgrim’s hostels, are not what make a pilgrim.  Pilgrimage is more an attitude than an act.1  If all you are seeking is exercise, diversion, or a deed that will slim your body or impress your friends, you might be happier racking up miles on an exercise cycle at the local gym.  Pilgrimage is a conscious act of seeking a more vital awareness of God’s living presence.  As was said in medieval times, ‘If you do not travel with the King whom you seek, you will not find him at the end of your journey.’”

  1. I would be inclined to say that pilgrimage involves both the activity and the disposition.

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