PILGRIMAGE


14/2/04


Christians should go on pilgrimages to undergo an experience of a religious nature, which does not mean a vision or anything like that, it means to go to a place that has great religious significance and undertake a religious activity there. Many Christians feel that pilgrimage is a help to them, that assists them in praying and it draws them closer to God and to others.


The spiritual benefits of pilgrimage come from being associated with Christ or another great Christian. Being a visitor to Lourdes would find it easy to reflect of Mary because Lourdes is geared to the reverence of her. There are so many reminders of Mary in the town and its shrine that it is easier to focus on her than it might otherwise be. Being with other pilgrims, with others of similar attitude and beliefs, greatly encourages a person’s religious devotions. People find emotional strength i9n numbers and those who have been to Lourdes speak of the powerful atmosphere of the shrine and its beneficial effect on them.


Pilgrims hope to become better people through their pilgrimage and they make a pilgrimage as a penance for their sins. Some Irish people climb Croagh Patrick (a mountain in special memory to St. Patrick) in bare feet or on their knees as penance for their wrongdoings. Most of the people who do this have little wrong, but feel sensitive to the wrongs they have done, while others feel visiting a place special to Christ means that Christ becomes more real to them and they are drawn closer to him. Many pilgrims feel that pilgrimage is a journey of the soul, which means, as they make the effort to travel, they are helping their souls go through a journey in which they grow as spiritual persons, overcoming faults and coming to love God all more.


Pilgrimage is an aid to help Christians with their faith by bringing them closer to God; in addition, pilgrimage helps to increase the knowledge about the pilgrims and their spiritual journey to God and their own awareness of faith. The journey to pilgrimages has been made easier due to better travel links but a pilgrim can still strengthen their faith and be an inspiration for all by making the travel the old fashion way, which is a serious physical discipline. This was as all discipline was meant to strengthen the soul against all weakness. Some pilgrims do not go for all the same reasons, most go to pray in large groups and visit the religious sites around there, while some go to absorb the atmosphere of the surroundings and from the other pilgrims. Many pilgrims receive a lot of inspiration to continue their spiritual journey with god for now and for the future.