The Pilgrim Heart
Janne Grover, Council of Twelve Apostles
“There is a road that runs straight through your heart. Walk on it” (Macrina Wiederkehr, “Tourist or Pilgrim?”, Seasons on the Heart: Prayers and Reflections, 1991, pp. 184-185).
We gathered from Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Tahiti-via-Belgium, and the United States to Rome, the Eternal City-a place of pilgrimage for spiritual travelers over thousands of years. The vision for this experience was inspired by our pilgrimage journey to World Conference 2019 and the 25th anniversary celebration of the dedication of the Temple in Independence, Missouri, USA.
Over the course of a year, Katie Harmon-McLaughlin and I wrote a series of articles exploring pilgrimage as a journey of becoming in preparation for World Conference 2019 and our theme of Discover. Our pilgrimage experience in Rome explored our personal and community pilgrimage set within the broader Christian tradition of pilgrims seeking meaning and clarity as they lived their sacred “yes” to Christ’s call to “follow me.”
I found it both overwhelming and enlivening to set foot on soil so rich in spiritual heritage. Overwhelmed by what it means to bear apostolic witness in a world filled with hatred, violence, and persecution. Enlivened by this centuries-old journey with spiritual companions dedicated to bearing the light and hope of Christ’s peace in a world longing to be made whole.
Journeying as individuals and community, we shared our stories of seeking and belonging; nurtured our souls through laughter and table fellowship; and worshipped through spiritual practice, song, spoken words, and sacrament. We lived a deeper awareness of the words to our theme song…We are pilgrims on a journey, here together on the road; we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load. Together, we provided safe space for each one to claim their unique and sacred place among those who follow Christ.
Over the years I have thought a lot about pilgrimage, but this experience helped me embrace and love the pilgrim heart that keeps me seeking, exploring, journeying, discovering, and becoming. The blessing is not in the destination, but in the intentional, Spirit-led journey.
There is a road that leads straight through your heart. Walk on it…open yourself to holy curiosity…risk something new…find blessing in unsettled, holy adventure…become a blessing to the whole creation…and find life-giving joy in this sacred journey!
My ordinary life is a sacred place.
“…our everyday ordinary lives are also sacred places, or put another way, the sacred place of our living. As dwellers within the Sacredness of Creation, there is potential to be aware and appreciate the holy within the ordinary. You may remember times when it felt like you were seeing the world through God’s eyes. That’s a good description for what it means to live sacramentally-to sense divine Spirit amid daily activities.” -Jane M. Gardner, “Sacramental Living,” September/October 2019 Herald, p. 5
How are you invited to live sacramentally today?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.