The phone rings, the email dings, and the alarms awaken me from my day dreams of places sacred and beautiful. I blink my eyes at the computer screen and the phone rings again. I answer. It’s a colleague asking for information. We talk and he asks “So, how was your trip?” I know it’s really more of a rhetorical statement than a real desire to know. So, I merely say “It was a great religious Pilgrimage” and “Israel is a fascinating country full of the History that binds us all”, “I recommend it to anyone who can make the trip”. Satisfied, he says good-bye.
Now, here I am consciously pondering what had been but a day-dream before the call. My words to him in no way describe the real greatness of my trip. The words “religious Pilgrimage” sailed past his ears without causing so much as a ripple in his brainwaves. But it was the purpose of the trip that made it great.
The religious purpose of the trip made the hassles of travel all part of the sacrifice of pilgrimage. But after a prolonged sojourn in the sacred places of our Faith, meditating upon the sublime, the return to daily routines is doubly difficult. Not depressing, but uncomfortable – as though the world and its issues no longer fit me, or rather, that I don’t fit in it. And that’s a good thing.
Everything in this material world is a metaphor for some spiritual reality. I have come to recognize Pilgrimage as a metaphor for our final journey to God, our passing from this world to the next, to reunite with our Lord in His Heavenly Home.
No wonder I feel as though I don’t fit here anymore.