In the book, "Radical Grace," the Catholic writer Richard Rohr has some keen insights into pilgrimage that are part and parcel of what I am hoping to infuse in the very nature of the School of the pilgrim:
First: be where your feet are, and live in that moment. It is easy in life and on pilgrimage to expect that there is something more fantastic or awesome around the curve. Writes Rohr: "As long as we think happiness is around the corner, we have not grasped happiness. Happiness is given in this moment. Everything is right here, right now, the total mystery of Christ; totally hidden and yet perfectly revealed.
Second: though pilgrimages are good for the spirit, if you can't find Jesus in your hometown, you probably aren't going to find him in Jerusalem. If you haven't already entered into a relationship with Mary before you probably won't find her at Lourdes. Pilgrimage has achieved its purpose when we can see God in our everyday and ordinary lives.
Third: a pilgrim must be a child who can approach everything with an attitude of wonder, awe, and faith. Pray for wonder, awe, desire. Ask God to take away your sophistication and cynicism. Ask God to take away the restless, anxious heart of the tourist, which always needs to find the new, the more, the curious. Recognize yourself as a pilgrim, as one who has already been found by God.
Shalom and Salaam,