Picturing the Destination: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

Tears in the eyes of Mary of Clopas (van der Weyden, Deposition, detail)

 On the walls of a museum, we come face-to-face with two views of life. Both have the power to shake us to our roots. Both look like madness. And both are roadmaps of the human journey. But only one is true, and you can tell it by the tears.Pilgrimage 2012, Day 6: Madrid[A note to the patient pilgrims: After wrestling with jetlag and some personal baggage---not the kind subject to customs inspections, but carried with me on the pilgrimage no less, and seriously over the … [Read more...]

The Road It Gives and the Road It Takes Away: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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Not every encounter on the pilgrim path is with Christ and his saints. Not every experience is a mystical insight. Not everything you learn has spiritual significance. But it's all part of the road.It's worth taking a breather to note some of the things we've learned and experienced and encountered on this pilgrimage. They weren't necessarily on the agenda, but they'll stay with us at least as long as the dates of the Spanish Reconquest or the number of dining rooms in the Royal Palace of … [Read more...]

Finding the Frog: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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In which we learn that pilgrimage cultivates a different way of seeing: We come to honor visionaries, and are expected to come away visionaries ourselves.Pilgrimage 2012, Day 4: Fatima to Salamanca, Spain, by way of Coimbra, PortugalI've gotten behind in posting, due to a combination of the exhaustion that accompanies cramming so many powerful experiences into each day and the instability of network connections. The downside is that you're probably wondering whether, like that Italian … [Read more...]

The Peace of the World: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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"Tell everybody that God gives His graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask graces from her, . . . for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her." ~ A message from the Lady of Fatima, according to Lucia Pilgrimage 2012, Day 3: FatimaWe pilgrims spent yesterday in Fatima. In the early morning, a tour of the Sanctuary, the huge devotional complex that encompasses the Chapel of the Apparitions on the site where the Lady most often appeared to the three … [Read more...]

Floating Martyrs, Desperate Housewives, and What Really Matters: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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On the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, we venerated a miracle wrought by desperation, and experienced one of our own.Saturday, September 15: Lisbon to Fatima by way of SantaremLanding in Lisbon after our mad scramble through the 9 circles of Charles de Hell Airport yesterday, we met our guides Guida (her name means Guide, so she is Guida Our Guida) and Francoise and boarded our buses. We are a two-bus pilgrimage (the Red and the Blue; I'm on Blue, with Guida) with this many people. All we … [Read more...]

Hollowed Be Our Aim: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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Prepare to Yield. That's what the sign flashed when we entered the departure lanes at Cincinnati/Northern KY International Airport yesterday (was that only yesterday?) afternoon. Other than Whan that Aprille with his shoures shoote, I can't think of a more apt start to a pilgrimage. That's what pilgrims are called to do, after all---to yield themselves to God's will and the vicissitudes of the road, to let the Spirit blow them where the Spirit wills, to break down those resistances of pride and … [Read more...]

The Dance of the Cross and the Crescent: Egregious Twaddle on Pilgrimage

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Our bags are . . . well, not actually packed yet, but close. We're . . . well, not exactly ready to go, but with a flurry of last minute chores (sync the iPad, stock up on protein bars, don't forget the European plug adapters) we'll be leaving on a jet plane tomorrow afternoon, after Mass at the Cathedral of St Peter in Chains in Cincinnati.Tomorrow, of course, is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and there could hardly be a better day to set off on pilgrimage. It was as a … [Read more...]

‘Who Would True Valor See’: Egregious Twaddle Goes on Pilgrimage

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We're going on pilgrimage. You, me, the Archbishop of Cincinnati, and 80+ assorted pilgrims, hitting the road Friday for 10 days. We may be packing light, but we're carrying priceless cargo---our prayers and those of others who've asked our intercession, the burdens and fears and and hurts and losses we long to lay in the lap of the Mother of God, the weight of our heart's devotion. The Marian shrines of Portugal, Spain, and France are our destination, but we know that destinations do not a … [Read more...]


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