The Quest for Mercy

The Quest for Mercy December 8, 2015

indyMy latest blog at National Catholic Register is Indiana Jones and Finding Mercy

The gospel says “Seek and you will find” and one of the ways of seeking is to go on a treasure hunt. This is how I’ve come to regard the ancient Catholic tradition of going on pilgrimage.
You set out from home to visit some holy place as if you are an adventurer going on a  quest to find some great treasure. Think Indiana Jones searching for the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant. On the pilgrimage you’ve got certain clues to follow and a path to pursue, but you’re not quite sure exactly what you’re meant to find. You know it will all be revealed as you set out on that journey.
I used to be cynical about pilgrimages thinking that they were no more than expensive holy holidays, but last summer I helped lead a pilgrimage to England and continued on my own private pilgrimage to Italy to venerate the Holy Shroud of Turin. The two weeks were filled with so many unexpected blessings and serendipitous connections that it would take a book to record them all!
This is what happens when you go on pilgrimage: you open yourself up to new experiences, new friendships and new perspectives. You literally leave your ordinary world and set out on an adventure. Sure, you might have hotels lined up for you and transportation provided, but there is an inner adventure and a new step of faith. Your life is transformed and your spiritual life is deepened.


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