To enter the extraordinary - Madonna Magazine

To enter the extraordinary

Staff 10 March 2017
Bruce Feiler, author and presenter of a recent independent TV series Sacred Journeys, commented: 'As long as humans have walked they have walked to get closer to their gods.' The series covers a number of well-known pilgrim trails, the experience of which, he says, offers an opportunity to 'escape the ordinary and enter the extraordinary'. Alfonso Rouco, bishop of Lugo, near Santiago de Compostela, speaks of the renewed vitality of the Camino, the well-known pilgrim route that ends at Santiago de Compostela: The pilgrim leaves behind home and belongings, and finds that everything can be superfluous, that the important thing is what one is, the true self. The pilgrim's experience is that of one who leaves behind cares and desires in order to discover the sole thing that matters, and who carries only one thing: his or her own being. He quotes the saintly archbishop of Madrid, Eugenio Pose: The pilgrim has an authentic experience of time: rising before the sun is up; keeping silence through the morning in awareness of the Presence of God while beginning life anew; noting how the colour of things changes as the day advances; living every moment intensely; resting in a church, in some shade; living without a watch, without calculating the time. What is important is not what is fleeting, but what is eternal. Each day passes, but time receives the imprint of eternity. Alive in the pilgrim is the hope of reaching the goal, moved by the longing for Ultimate Truth. The pilgrim comes to understand that what is important is to discover the meaning of his or her existence, in the face of which the need for conversion is constantly renewed. We are all on pilgrimage. 'The church', says Bishop Rouco, 'defines itself in this world as the pilgrim church, in search of the heavenly homeland. Christians do not go in search of the divine to some far off or unknown source, but rather return to the depths of their own faith, find the experience of the truth in their own lives, renew their own existence, while reaffirming the need and the possibility of forgiveness, of the compassionate embrace of grace.'


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