Spiritual Direction | Riverside CA
Spiritual Direction

Thoughts on Pilgrimage

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.

Wendell Berry

Pilgrimage: 1) A journey to a sacred place. 2) Any long journey or search, especially one of exalted purpose or moral significance.

What a great description of Spiritual Direction. In direction, our spiritual journeys are quests to find what the creator intended us to be – to uncover the true person and to open ourselves to become all God intended.

Road ahead I remember walking a labyrinth laid out on a rough, bare hilltop, the paths marked with stones, patches of weeds and wildflowers here and there. Along the way were tokens left by travelers before me – a beaded bracelet, a feather, a bit of silver, small stones – perhaps left at the point of an experienced insight or blessing.

Just so it is in direction. When we become purposeful, mindful and actively engaged in listening for God we begin to meet fellow travelers – fellow seekers. We may find sentences in books or passages of music that seem to be there just waiting for us.

A pilgrimage is something you undertake, not something that is done to you. Direction is the same. It is your conscious commitment to the process that asks “who am I called to be” and sometimes “what am I called to do.” The author Ursula LeGuin wrote, “It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”


Photo credit: ManojVasanth