Mercy Minutes #26

holy-doorA reflection on question 10 from the pastoral letter by Brenda Kresky, Catholic Education Ministries consultant for adult faith formation.

Q. What is the meaning of pilgrimage in your life? Are you on a pilgrimage of mercy?

All of us get caught up in the “same old, same old.” Routines are good and needed to help us accomplish our tasks and goals, but there is a time to break from the routine and experience something new and different.

When I was young our family liked to go to many different campgrounds and parks during the summer. One in particular was Paul Bunyan Park. I remember walking into the park and the 100 foot (I have no idea how tall the statue was but it was really big to me as a little kid) Paul Bunyan called me by name. I was completely amazed. How could he have known my name? (As an adult, I realized that it was simply my parents giving it to the attendant.) Anything could have happened that day, but from that moment on I knew it was going be extraordinary. I still remember that day with fondness.

Pilgrimages, whether big or small, create memories that, upon reflection, can deepen and strengthen the impact over and over again. Opportunities outside of our daily routine allow for new sparks and perspectives that can lead to transformation. One of the pilgrimages offered during this Year of Mercy is to pass through a Holy Door:

I invite all the faithful of the Diocese of Saint Cloud to visit the Cathedral during this year of Mercy and pass through the Holy Door as an outward sign of our inward pilgrimage to conversion of heart and renewal of a lifestyle of mercy.

By taking this outward and inward pilgrimage we might just hear God’s voice calling us by name, inviting us into an extraordinary experience with renewed energy and excitement so that we may

… be a living and effective sign of God’s love in the world, a sign that does not just point to the love of God but makes it really present among us.