A Catholic Monthly Magazine


Fr Bernard Carney sm

Fr Bernard Carney sm

One of the movements that has caught the mood of many Christians of these times has been the pilgrimage to St James of Compostella, Spain. There are a number of starting places for this pilgrimage. One such place is the spectacular town of Le Puy in neighbouring  France.

Le Puy France

Le Puy France

Other places of pilgrimage include Jerusalem in Israel, Walsingham in England and Knock in Ireland.

The point of the pilgrimage is not so much to reach a destination but to meet God on the journey. In a real sense these physical journeys are just a metaphor for each one of us. We are all on a pilgrimage to meet our God. For Christians this begins in a formal way with Baptism. It ends with the moment of our death. So we have a beginning and an end. The month of November is a special time to remember the faithful who have ended their pilgrimage over the past twelve months. The feast of All Souls Day brings this to mind. We pray for family, friends and those we have known who have reached the goal of their pilgrimage.

This occasion is also a reminder to ourselves about  our own efforts as a pilgrim of Life. Not only do we pray for others but we can come closer to God in our lives. On page 6 Pope Francis  gives us a down to earth lesson on the place of mercy in our lives. This surely has to be a meeting place between the individual and God.  The pilgrim is one who travels light and often is very much a victim of circumstance. The break-down of transport or a missed flight can see a person in need. Often enough it is the  ‘Good Samaritan’  in the form of a friendly local who can solve the problem. This is where God’s mercy meets the traveller in person.

There are many other areas where we can meet the God of Mercy. Supporting a worthy cause or simply spending time listening to someone with a story to tell. Whatever we choose to do, it can be one more step on our pilgrim way.   

Compostella  Spain

Compostella, Spain

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