Preparation for pilgrimage?

I have been preparing for an upcoming pilgrimage to Italy.  My sister and I leave this week.  Plans are to visit Rome, Milan and San Giovanni Rotundo; the birthplace of St. Padre Pio.  I know it is a thrill for a Catholic to visit the heart of our faith in Rome.  But I must confess I can’t wait to visit the place where St. Padre Pio lived, prayed and is buried.  He has been my “go-to” saint for a long time.  He is known to have been able to read souls.  Whenever  people came to him for confession and left out major offenses, he would remind them that they had not finished confessing their sins and would detail the omissions.  I would have liked going to confession with him…no fooling him or leaving out anything I would be ashamed to admit.  When I pray to him….as when I pray to God….I must be honest and confess all.  They know all so there can be nothing hidden or kept secret. 

My question for today is how to prepare for such a pilgrimage.  I belive it begins the moment the decision is made to take the journey.  God begins to prepare our souls for the graces, gifts and insights the pilgrimage will offer.  We pray for our fellow pilgrims and for the people arranging the trip for us.  As we pack our material belongings for the journey, we should also pack our  flexibility should some part of the trip need to be changed.  We should carry our willingness to be uncomfortable, hot, and tired without losing our charity.  Always, we should bring our open heart to graces God has in store for us as we travel and see parts of his creation.  Our spirit should be ready for the new experiences only pilgrimage can offer.  All I ask is that God help me pack only what I need.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jenny Galvez
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 10:06:56

    Looks like the preparations are well under way! Have a wonderful, safe journey. I’ll pray for safe travels for you both. Say a prayer for me and my family while you’re there…… love ya’


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