Posts Tagged ‘Pilgrimage’

During Lent, Americans Retrace Ancient Pilgrimage Routes in Rome

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
George Weigel writes in the Wall Street Journal about a wonderful tradition in Rome…that is undertaken by Americans! (It was begun by seminarians and student-priests from the Pontifical North American College…where I used to be stationed.) As we prepare to begin Lent, I thought you’d enjoy this piece:

“On March 5, Ash Wednesday, hundreds of residents of Rome will begin a six-and-a-half-week long pilgrimage to the Roman station churches of Lent—a tradition that began in the earliest days of legalized Christianity but, until recently, had lain fallow…

The station churches themselves, especially those off the tourist track, often astonish. The apse mosaic in the Basilica of Sts. Cosmas and Damian is a startling sixth-century anticipation of 20th-century art deco. The little church of St. Praxedes, hidden behind the vast basilica of St. Mary Major atop the Esquiline Hill, contains the golden mosaic St. Zeno Chapel, one of the most beautiful rooms on the planet.

Amid the world’s continuous wayfaring, the Roman station church pilgrimage has a unique character, combining history, art, architecture and the human quest for truth. Built on the foundation of martyrs’ homes, it is a reminder that religious freedom is never cost-free. And its revival by Americans, who lead it today, is a fine act of gratitude from the New World to the Old.”

Read the rest here.

Renewed Faith

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

This piece comes from Jerusalem.  Here I am, in great company of fifty priests from the archdiocese, on a ”retreat-pilgrimage.”

Can you think of a better place to renew faith in God and hear again the call to discipleship from His Son, Jesus?

We are keeping your intentions in our prayers, as well as those of our Jewish neighbors, for whom this land is especially holy.

It’s said that reading or listening to the Bible is never the same after a pilgrimage to Israel.  I’d agree.

Of the multiple spiritual fruits of a retreat here, one stands out for me:  we have a God who has intimately and powerfully inserted Himself into our history.  As the old saying has it, it actually becomes “His-story.”

So, our God revealed Himself personally to people whose names are still revered here:  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David . . .

And, for us Christians, God actually entered history in His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who walked this sacred ground.

This is important for us.  We Americans live in a culture formed by the Enlightenment.  In many ways this is very good.

Part of the Enlightenment is Deism, which holds that, while there is, indeed, a Supreme Being, it is distant, aloof, impersonal.  This Divinity has set creation, and our lives, in motion, and now leaves us alone, to greet us one day when it’s all over.

We Christians (and Jews) do not have a Deistic approach to God.  For us, God is personal; He has revealed Himself to us, entered into covenant with us, called us, formed us, and is intimately part of history.

We Christians dare to take it a step further as we profess that this God took flesh in Jesus Christ, the mystery we call the Incarnation.

Tough to settle only for Deism at Bethlehem, Nazareth, the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the Mount of the Beatitudes, Cana, Capernaum, Naim, Bethesda, and Jerusalem. . .

See why one’s faith is renewed?