April 03: Are You a Pilgrim or a Tourist?

Day 29

View Video Transcript

For more than 20 years, I’ve been leading groups on pilgrimages to Rome, Assisi, the Holy Land, Fatima, Lourdes . . . so many incredible, holy places. And when I first get the group together on each trip, I always talk about the same thing. The question I pose before them is, “Are you going to be a pilgrim, or are you going to be a tourist?”

There’s a difference between a pilgrimage and just a vacation. A pilgrimage certainly can be a vacation, and maybe one of the best ways to have a vacation, but there is a real difference between the two.

There’s a phenomenal difference between the way a pilgrim behaves and the way a tourist behaves. And right at the core of that is sort of an awareness or a yearning for God to speak to us, for God to lead us, for God to direct us, for God to disclose his will, to show us what he wants from us, or what he wants for us. The pilgrim is always looking for those signs.

The pilgrim is patient, I think, above all else. If the flight is delayed, the tourist is like, “Aw, I’m going to miss this . . . I already made these plans and that’s gonna be ruined.” If the flight is delayed, the pilgrim asks, “What is God trying to teach me through this delayed flight? Is God trying to teach me to be more patient? Is God trying to teach me that I need to slow down? What is God trying to say to me?” And the pilgrim is very proactive, is looking for the signs, is not waiting for God to beat him or her over the head with a message, but is really eyes wide open, looking for the signs.

In life, I think we have to ask the same question: “Are we pilgrims, or are we tourists?” Some people live their whole life like a tourist. We are called to live our lives like pilgrims. We are just passing through this earth, and I think it is really important from time to time to remind ourselves of that.

We are on this journey to be with God. We are on this journey to be with God forever in eternity. This is not home; we’re passing through this place. And when you think about how quickly life does pass, and you think about how quickly we do pass through this life, I think it’s important to ask ourselves, “Are we preparing ourselves to live in heaven? Are we prepared for the next life?” And if we’re not prepared, “What do we need to do to get prepared?”

As we make this journey as pilgrims, how do we get prepared to live with God forever in eternity? Because there is just a phenomenal temptation, a phenomenal draw, to think of this world as all there is, to think of this world as, “this is it, this is home.” And when we do that, we rob ourselves of infinite possibilities, and we start to live in ways that don’t lead us to God, that don’t lead us to happiness, that don’t lead us to that-very-best-version-of-ourselves.

“We are always hungry for something more complete, and God is that completeness that we yearn for from the depths of our soul.”

Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness

Share this quote.

Focus

We are just passing through this place we call Earth. We are pilgrims.

Act

Spend some time today thinking about heaven.

Pray

A PILGRIM’S PRAYER
by Thomas Merton
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following Your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust You always though I may seem lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for You are ever with me,
and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Today’s personal reflection features Dynamic Catholic team member Lindsey Wopschall. Lindsey is our public relations and media coordinator, coming to us from Pasadena, California. Lindsey is a marathon runner, recently attempted her first Ironman, and can often be found reading a personal development or leadership book.

What does it mean to be a pilgrim?

Let us know in the comments!

We encourage you to comment on this reflection. All viewpoints are welcome, but we ask that you remain on-topic and respect other members of the discussion. Please remember that we are trying to help each other become the-best-version-of-ourselves. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding comments, including but not limited to removal of comments. Be Bold. Be Catholic.®

  • Ed

    Throughout every moment of the day being aware of God’s involvement and responding accordingly. If you know that God is right there beside you when you get handed an awful undelegatable assignment would make a difference in how you react?

    • Kris

      Our mother just left earthly life last Friday. My sister, brother and I were taking turns staying with her, for days at a time. Last Wednesday, I was restless at being at home, wondering about Mom, even though it was not “my turn” to be with her. I awoke on Thursday, and just knew that I would cancel everything for the next two days, that I had to be with Mom. My siblings could have stayed, that would have been ok, but I simply knew that I had to be there. Mom left for Heaven and our Dad about 1:30pm on the 31st; I was with her, and I was ok; God was with me (and Mom) and I was sad but ok that our Mom was finally at peace.

      • Cheryl Keller

        Cheryl

        • Cheryl Keller

          Kris, I’m sorry for the loss of your mother on Fri 3/31. My mother passed away 1 week ago on 3/26. We had her funeral mass on 3/31. I relate to needing to be there her final days and I was able to get all of the kids

      • Cheryl Keller

        Kris, thank you for sharing your comment. I’m sorry for the loss of your mother. My mom passed away 1 week ago and we had her funeral mass on 3/31. I am grateful that I was able to spend her final hours with her. I feel she is at peace as well.

      • Kathleen Spector

        Dear Kris, what a beautiful testament of love and life you and your family have given your Mom and each other. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours!

      • Joyce

        Your Mom is home. I was told that we are students here on earth, always learning. But when we die we graduate and go home to Heaven.

      • 7cathy17

        Kris,you are Blessed that you answered the call to cancel your schedule.God is in every moment including your Moms last breath and you being there .May she Rest In Peace
        .

      • Judy Twomey

        Kris, what a “gift of presence” God gave you.
        Be well.
        My sympathy.

      • Diane Grohn

        Kris, This warmed my heart. You must have been very close to your Mother to know to be present for her. Maybe your presence was what she needed to say goodbye to this life. God Bless You!

    • Eduardo Hoover

      That is so great you were there as your mom journeyed into eternity to be with our Lord. I think of St Joseph’s death with Jesus and Mary being there for him. My hope and prayer is your father remain strong in the Lord. Losing a spouse is hard and the separation anxiety can be overwhelming at times. Remembering we are only pilgrims here eases the pain and gives comfort. I’ve had two wives pass from this life.

  • Karen

    To be a pilgrim….I am the one searching….I am the one who will discover….I am the one on this path to my God and my faith….to be the one who experiences this journey.

    • Kathiehc

      As Matthew says in the chapter: You are here for a reason.
      This is something I need to be reminded of, to put in the fore front of my awareness.
      Recently, I’m coming to the realization that our families are why I’m here. I’m part of a huge family, starting with my family of origin and certainly including the family my husband & I created through blending when we married. I ballparking, but counting just my siblings and their families and our children and their families, I’m in the 70’s!
      I think God wants me to focus on where I can be of service right where He planted me 70 years ago!

      • Karen

        With my hubby in Hospice….I know why God placed me in this role….to be a loving caregiver for this man….my current reason.

        • Judy Twomey

          Blessings and strength to you, Karen, each day.

        • Shannon App

          When my Grandmother was in hospice I cared for her but I also learned a lot about myself. The memories I hold are treasured ones. May God Bless you, Karen

        • Jennifer Lind Bourgeois

          Karen, you are in my prayers!

        • Darlene Matteucci

          your role is very important prayers togive you the courage and strength to fulfill your role as caregiver at your husbands bedside. God is already blessing you on this journey. Darlene

  • Jane Deutschlander

    Striving to live my life for the Lord. Each moment of each day we are presented with an opportunity to be Christ on Earth. I try to be – and in my humanness, fail often. But just as Thomas Merton’s prayer states, I believe that in trying to please God I do in fact please him. I have that prayer in my bathroom and I pray it every morning. Okay – I try to pray it every morning and succeed most days. It reminds me of my purpose and helps me live my life for God.

    • Judy Twomey

      As did my pastor, Bishop Robert Morneau. Merton is strength always. Jane, you are dedicated. I stay on course but not always give the effort that life calls us to.

    • Angela Taylor

      Offering up your day to God is another way to mindfully focus on Him and say we are not in control. I try to remember to say the morning offering as soon as I wake. “Everything I do today I offer up to you Lord. All my work, suffering and joy.”

      • Lisa

        I do this too, then when something happens during the day and I offer it up to God, I laugh and say, oh right, I gave you my whole day already!

  • Kim Roberts

    I feel that being a pilgrim means looking for God’s presence in every situation and doing my best to follow his plan. It’s taking the focus off of me and putting it on him. I’m a tourist when I try to run my own life and forget the purpose of living. I’m a pilgrim when I am searching for God and his will in all that I do.

    • Cheryl Keller

      Well said, Kim

      • Peggy Ann Foss

        Yes Kim. It is definitely a journey. Not looking back but pressing forward to the high calling of Christ.

      • Marsha Mohan

        Indeed! That is the struggle.

    • Laura

      Thanks, Kim. The purpose is what I struggle to keep in the forefront. I get distracted by the immediacy of activities. Then I desire to over-react and move to a commune just so I can focus. But that isn’t right for me either, because I really think I need to be in the world helping others to fulfill God’s purpose for me. I just fail so often! Argh!

      • Jean Walton

        We all fail, Laura. That is our humanity. Keep making that 180 turn when you realize it.

      • Delia Shuert Kavanaugh

        That is really the struggle. How do I participate in this world without getting swallowed up by it? It certainly is a delicate balance and a fine line to walk. I want to do God’s will and focus on what is important to Him, but I’m afraid I fail all too often.

        • Colleen Braun

          A scapular around your neck and a rosary in your pocket is the best way I have found to stay grounded! Mary will always pull you closer to Gods will

          • Cindy Leslie

            Thank you Colleen for the reminder and for spreading these two devotions of Our Lady. They are one of the best weapons and help of these times. Life is a pilgrimage. God lead us all on our path to you.

      • Jody Barbin

        Very well said…this bothers all I think….he’s always redeeming us with our continued effort…that is out hope and prayer through faith…..I find comfort in knowing He understands our struggle in that area…after all what would we do if we did not have Him and His promise…..are we not so very blessed….we must receive His love and keep the path though we fail …….I loved your ” immediacy of activities……so very true”

      • Kathleen Henshaw

        When “the immediacy of activities” begins to overwhelm, I have started taking a moment to ask God what it is he wants from me in these situations. I really believe that even during those times, God has a purpose for that immediacy. When we over-react with thoughts of living in a commune (I admit I’ve often thought about that), we are thinking about ourselves, not God’s will. It also hit me, would it really be any better in a “commune?” This immediacy is our challenge to regain our journey as a pilgrim, not a tourist.

        • Lisa

          I heard a funny story once about a man who was going to religious commune. He brought along an annoying friend because he thought everyone will be blissful and so he would not be able to advance in virtue. When he got there, he discovered he needn’t have bothered.

          • Mich Smi

            wait so what happened? was the story saying that they were not blissful? they were already disturbed? did the “annoying friend” blend in well enough to stay too? is it a true story? did they both grow in holiness there?

          • Lisa

            Not a true story. The point was that people are people wherever you go, and there are challenges everywhere. So, they were not blissful, and there were people being annoying there as well.

            As for a true story, a girl from our parish joined a convent. She found it was difficult living with a bunch of women. At least that is the way the pastor described it when he asked us to pray for her. Same kind of situation as the fictional story only she didn’t bring an annoying friend.

      • Shonne Farrell

        Laura, I can relate to the struggle to keep t he events of life manageable. I’m 68 years old and I’m keeping busy by helping my grandson with his homework, helping out at my church, and a Franciscan Secular. Every day I go to prayer to help me through my day.

    • Jean Walton

      Great wisdom in these words.

    • Michelle

      Well said Kim I feel the same I look for Gods plan for me everyday , I’ve had depression for years and worried every morning about the day ahead.

      • Mich Smi

        this comforts me when i feel that way…

        Lamentations 3 — “…My life is deprived of peace,
        I have forgotten what happiness is;
        18
        My enduring hope, I said,
        has perished before the LORD.
        19
        The thought of my wretched homelessness
        is wormwood and poison;
        20
        Remembering it over and over,
        my soul is downcast.
        21
        But this I will call to mind;
        therefore I will hope:
        22
        The LORD’s acts of mercy are not exhausted,
        his compassion is not spent;
        23
        They are renewed each morning—
        great is your faithfulness!
        24
        The LORD is my portion, I tell myself,
        therefore I will hope in him.
        25
        The LORD is good to those who trust in him,
        to the one that seeks him;
        26
        It is good to hope in silence
        for the LORD’s deliverance.
        27
        It is good for a person, when young,
        to bear the yoke,
        28
        To sit alone and in silence,
        when its weight lies heavy…”

        hope that’s comforting 😀

        Peace & prayers, from another Michelle (Micha)

    • Michelle Walters

      Well said, Kim! It’s about taking the focus off myself and putting it on God.

    • Delaine Shay

      Your post evoked in me a reminder of what My spiritual director would say,
      Take a quick look at yourself and a long look at God.

    • Mary Bacon

      I just returned from a cruise and before I went and while I was on it I asked God to use me…to be there for someone to help them. When I got on the ship I noticed this woman, and again the next day in the jewelry shop where I just had to go talk to her and compliment her on how nice she looked. Shortly after I made my way to the dining room and was lead to the table I would be at all week. And there she sat! As it turned out in conversation I had helped deeply and she said we were meant to be put together. We never know when we are going to be a blessing for someone and can help them through life. Our everyday life can be a pilgrimage of living our lives ‘Gods way’ helping others.

  • Terri

    To me, being a pilgrim is being on a journey with a goal in mind but have no idea what the road will be like or the perils you may face along the way. You trust in the goal and have faith and hope that’s this journey will ultimately lead you there.

    • Delia Shuert Kavanaugh

      Nicely said!

    • Mich Smi

      yeah like the Merton prayer 🙂
      i posted it to Facebook 😀

  • Alice Ann Hengesbach

    As I took in Lindsey’s reflection, I saw Matthew Chapter 6 in a new light: pay attention. I “got” the “don’t worry” part a long time ago. Now I see the wisdom, the “do these things NOW.” part. Thank you Lindsey. I am absolutely sure your dad is SO proud of you. Enjoy this 24. Blessings.

  • Laura

    Pilgrims respond to the invitation. If I accept God’s invitation to be the best version of myself, I take responsibility for replacing the self absorbed “me” with the Christ-filled “me” in every step of the journey. Pilgrims are responsible; tourists are disengaged. I need to think about this more.

    • Lisa

      When my husband and I are out and about, we will pick up a piece of garbage that was left on the ground or floor and put it in the garbage. Every little bit of garbage picked up or smile or kind word spoken replaces the badness and adds to the beauty of this world.

  • Pamela Urban

    To touch someone’s heart in a positive way. I need to remind myself daily on how am I preparing myself and my family, to live in heaven for all of eternity after this short test run is over.

  • Susan E

    I love the example of being delayed at the airport. As always with DC’s “Best Ever” there are days when I am amazed at how closely my life (in that very moment) follows the theme for the day. Am I a pilgrim or am I a tourist? I was thinking along similar lines this morning as I talked to Jesus while I was walking my dog. I can certainly reflect back in a few situations where I was a tourist – just along for the ride and being a bit grumpy for the delays. Being a pilgrim – to me – means to be fully engaged in every moment. I have experienced someone who was dying (my dad) and I have experience sudden death (my husband). In both instances I was engaged and I longed for heaven just to be with them one more day. The veil between heaven and earth felt thin. It again feels thin as I prepare for Holy Week. Thanks again DC – great thoughts for the day. I need to make being a pilgrim a habit.

    • BettyBee

      “The veil between heaven and earth felt thin.” I love that sentence, that description, that image! I pray that my relationship with God grows stronger, and that veil becomes thinner and thinner in my own life.

  • mrcpuhead

    While I haven’t been on many pilgrimages at all, there is one that means more to me than any other journey in my life. It was 1989, when our church group traveled to Medjugorje, Yugoslavia (now Bosnia and Herzegovina) to visit the site of Holy Mother Mary’s visit to six young children in 1981. On that journey, I learned through Mary’s grace that Aimee Foxwell would be the one with whom I would spend the rest of my life (though I waited until Christmas eve to propose). So I guess to me being a pilgrim means trying to live up to the best gift the Holy Mother could give!

  • Tina

    My life is a journey to God, is The Pilgrimage, as I was taught. So every day and every action or event of the day goes to trying to glorify God. So to me it is like weaving a tapestry. The sad part is at moments like the present, when in retreat and trying to look at my life`s tapestry, it looks like one big mess, just full of knots.
    Well this analogy was given to me by my spiritual director, to console me, I suppose. It looks this way, he said, because I am sitting on the weavers stool, which is the reverse side of the tapestry. Only when I get to heaven, will I see it from the right side and I will see the pattern giving glory to God.

    • Lisa

      At a ball game, they pass out cards to hold up. Everyone gets one and together it says something. What would it feel like to get a blank card? Sometimes I think I’m not doing anything, but just being supportive. Just now it occurred to me that I am the peace in between my family’s words. Without me, they would just be a bunch of letters strung together.

      • Tina

        Hi Lisa, I was just thinking on very similar lines! (about our pilgrimage together as a church family and individually)
        I like your image of cards at a ball game.
        I was thinking of a jigsaw puzzle. How we are all pieces of this jigsaw puzzle. We each have a part and together we are The Body of Christ.
        Individually, our whole life is one jigsaw puzzle, and each day a piece that looks so mysterious or even meaningless.
        But in the end we see the bigger picture.
        So your image is really very clever, because you see your part. Also, I find it so very interesting, because where I come from, we don`t have this at our ball games. Yet!

  • John L. Kemmis

    I finished watching the second video and began focusing on the question, “What does it mean to be a pilgrim?” Thinking I was finished journaling, I realized a need to look for something else, something I missed. So I scrolled back up and noticed that I skipped the Focus-Act-Pray section. And then Merton’s prayer appeared.

    Our pastor, Father Mike, introduced me to that prayer in a homily one Sunday. And in a sense, introduced me to Merton.

    I am not surprised. No, I am stunned. Each word in that prayer has so much meaning. Each word hinging on the other in some profound way. This prayer is blessing.

    To me, reading and reflecting on this prayer, on its words, is what it means to be a pilgrim.

    • MaryMartha

      I love Merton’s Prayer. It always speaks to me when I read it, of asking for God’s will, not mine to be done.

      • mistymama

        I love this prayer as well. It reminds me of last year’s lent I had gone to confession and was upset with myself because I had been ill a great deal during lent and felt I hadn’t prepared for Easter sufficiently. The priest said something to me that is from the words of that prayer. He said you have already fulfilled your lenten goals because you desired so strongly to complete them. That was like a revelation to me. All we need is a desire to do good.

        • K. D.

          I have a dear friend in her 90’s….she attends daily Mass, Adoration Chapels, Rosaries… all dependent on others getting her there. She injured some bones and was told that she could not kneel anymore….this upset her as she has spent so much of her time in prayer and usually on her knees. I reminded her that her desire to kneel must please God very much…that she could offer up her inability to kneel and the sorrow that brought her. She was very thankful to look at it that way…it was not what she couldn’t do…but how to offer what she could! God is much more interested in our hearts

          • Marie Patterfritz Reinhart

            I truly love what you said, “I reminded her that her desire to kneel must please God very much.” God knows our hearts and minds. I was hoarse from Oct – Jan and was not able to sing at Mass. Oh how my heart yearned to sing the beautiful hymnals. God knew just how much I wanted to praise Him in song. Thank you for your words K.D.

          • K. D.

            God must have wanted you to read them…and now you can sing with a grateful heart!

          • Marie Patterfritz Reinhart

            Indeed I can.

        • Eunice

          Beautiful prayer

    • Marsha Mohan

      It is a lovely prayer to be read if possible each day reminding us we are not perfect and not alone but can strive to do our best with God’s spirit within us helping us along the way. Guiding us through each day to not beat ourselves up with our imperfections but be grateful to know we have someone to lean on with unconditional love to keep moving forward to living life following God on our journey as a pilgrim. I am so grateful to have joined you all in The Best Lent ever…a gift from God. May a prayer each hour help us be thankful for the joys and assist us with burdens of each day. God Bless🙏

    • Darlene Matteucci

      This is the first time I have seen this prayer but it was inspiring and very meaningful.

    • Kathleen Riling

      All these comments have helped me get my focus back. Thank you everyone and God Bless you!

    • Carolyn Orsi

      I have copied the prayer and will keep it in my Bible.

      • Karen Kotzbach McCreary

        Carolyn Orsi , I just copied the prayer in a journal I’ve had for years that was just waiting for this Lent and this prayer (along with words of wisdom from this whole book ). The desire to do God’s will is important, too, even when I can’t do them because of the condition I’m in at the moment . What an inspiration it is ! *_* K

        • Carolyn Orsi

          It sounds as if you could use some prayers sent your way. You didn’t mention what your condition was, but I will pray that as soon as you are able that you will have the same strong desire you have today to do God’s will. God bless you, Karen.

    • Paz Bingham

      I agree with you John!! That prayer made an impact on me and as I said it gave me light to go on and realized that even trying and failing God will take into consideration.. I have copied it to recite every day..This was not a coincidence, it was part of the pilgrimage , in spite of distractions..Gratitude is what I feel right now …This prayer is a true blessing…

  • Lynn Nguyen

    Being a pilgrim means that we are on a journey passing through earth on our way to our home in heaven with God. It means while we’re on this journey that we are preparing ourselves and constantly seeking God’s guidance, His plan, and will for us in everything we do.

    As long as we are seeking Him first, we won’t get too attached to temporary things here (money and what it can buy, recognition, status, approval from others, etc), that we accept the ups and downs we experience on our journey, and that we try to bring as many people with us as we can by spreading God’s word, encouraging and loving our brothers and sisters to do the same.

    Spending time with God daily keeps us on the right path in our pligrimage, on our way to heaven.

  • Laura Reese

    Being a pilgrim means suffering with a certain amount of loss of control as you are on God’s plan instead of your own. I have always been a person who thinks, “If it is going to be done right, it better be done by me” so being a pilgrim is sometimes extremely difficult because it sets off my anxiety. I am just beginning to be able to make plans and then adjust when they don’t go perfectly. Part of that adjustment has been looking for the lesson or the good in the new plans.

  • William Chirinos

    I love this episode, it spoke to me in so many ways. Specially because this last weekend I reverted to my tourist ways and I felt like I walked away from God. But I know God is there with me and sent me this beautiful episode through dynamic catholic. Thank you Lindsey, Matthew, and the whole team at Dynamic Catholic.

  • Sherry McCollum

    My pilgrimage is not sweating the small stuff and focus on what matter most by rediscovering Jesus. I lost two family members this past weekend and if that isn’t a test then I don’t know what it. A small comfort that the loved ones we lost are finally at peace and not suffering any longer. They completed their pilgrimage on their way to heaven.

    • Karen in FL

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Sherry. May their souls Rest In Peace.

  • Jennifer Kreps

    The first time I heard the word “pilgrim” applied to my faith was the first year I went to Washington DC for the March for Life. That was a trip that tested my patience and exposed me to challenges I wasn’t prepared for. However, the journey also gave me a glimpse at what trusting in God and the power of pray can empart on one’s soul. The joy I gained from that experience grows in me because God planted the seed of grace in my soul during that trip. Being a pilgrim to me is teaming with God to focus on the joys of His love and promise when presented with the failings of this world.

  • Clara Turci Depko

    I try to ask in every situation what is God saying when things don’t work out. We are trying to buy a second home in Florida and each time the deal does not go through. I know that God is leading us some where that he is telling me not now not this. I try to see his hand in everything. When stuck in traffic I think ok he is protecting us from something. I may not always know His master plan for me but when I see it come to be it is always a Wow factor for me. When I search for his answer and I cannot find it I ask him for pie in the face so I know what he is telling me. Give it to me right in the face Lord I need to know your will in my life.

  • Nancy D.

    Life is a journey. We will be presented with choices throughout our lives and depending on which path we choose, it could be dark or full of light. We may be tempted to take the dark path and there may be signs along the way that tell us how to get off this dark path, but we have to be willing to read those signs. If not, the journey could be long and lonely. I am a true believer of signs, and I try my best to stay on the path full of light. If I falter, I try to look for God’s signs to let me know how to change my direction and turn toward the light.

  • Daniela D.

    It means to do everything trusting God and God’s plan for us. Trying to follow his will and being humble and righteous.

  • Jacob

    I think being pilgrim, is God presence. It may don’t go as plan as we wanted it to. We just got to deal with the sacrificed of how God put us in a situation that we don’t want to be in. We just have to may it more in a positive way than a negative way of living. There are people that will just give up on God because many bad thing happen to them. I believe that maybe God want you to be closer to him. He don’t want you see the negative thing in life. Be happy. Be positive. Always smile. Do not worry about the small thing in life. It will get better because we are on in good hand.

  • Patricia

    To be a pilgrim you make the choice, every day, to find new ways to find God in our lives and to build on the ways we have already discovered. I will bring this to my students who are preparing to receive the sacrament of confirmation

  • Rebecca

    Being a pilgrim is living every day as a follower of Christ. We can do this by helping the poor, getting involved in the community, and being kind to everyone. We only have a short time on this Earth so we have to live our life in God’s image and not care about materialistic things or what people think of us.

    • MCE

      I so agree with you Rebecca. Whenever I pray the “Our Father” I always pause at the part that says “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I think “Thy Will’ is being a follower of Christ and being kind ,and helpful to every one as he had done when he was on this earth.

  • Mary Kay

    Very GIFTED & BLESSED to have been on many Pilgrimages ( Holy Land, Fatima, Lourdes, Medjugorje & more) REMEMBER you can be at Home to a make a Pilgrimage ( a day or week) WE ARE RIGHT NOW with Mathew Kelly & Team! WE ARE ALL THRIVING, THIRSTING, & YEARNING to SEE – HEAR – to be Directed on the JOURNEY CLOSER TO & WITH GOD! WE ARE 😇’S ON CALL– HERE WE ARE LORD 🙏

  • Chip Barger

    Me thinks a pilgrim is the last person to know but the first person to go….to God in total faith….

  • Kathleen Spector

    Being a pilgrim means honoring where I am in relationship to where I am going.

    My sister and I journeyed to Rome in 2012: I was delivering a lecture at one of the universities and asked my sister to join me. It ended up being a pilgrimage as we traveled to the many sacred spaces with an increased awareness of the history of our faith and those who had gone before us!

    The holiness we experienced in the journey will remain always. I thank God for the journey and companionship along the way.

  • Mick Peterson

    I hope to fully practice Lindsey’s approach to the journey.

  • Karen

    To me being a pilgrim is getting up in the morning having plans already and God changes those plans. You have to go its what God wants, because it is what is best for you. You have to trust He is leading you where He wants you to go.

  • Maureen

    Being a pilgrim is living as Jesus has asked. Being kind to others, loving your family and friends and making every effort to follow the bible, and the 10 Commandments the Beatitudes. We are not perfect so we know we make mistakes but making every effort the work for the common good in your everyday life is important. In doing so we all benefit and what a world it would be if we all done the same. If we all lived our lives like pilgrims. God bless

  • Michael Baur

    This is great question. I never really thought about this questions until today. I have a bachelors degree in history, so I when I think of pilgrims. I think of think pilgrims that came to North America. As I am type my response, i am realizing that a pilgrim has an incredible journey in front of them to a better place. There are going to have some hard times but in the end it will be worth the journey As pilgrims on earth we have an incredible journey to get to heaven.

  • Jeff K

    “Be here now.”

  • Steve Shoulta

    Every day is a struggle, but God always gives us the grace we need to build up the kingdom.

  • Elaine

    A Pilgrim is a traveler standing firm in their beliefs where a traveler is fluid and not settled. I find myself to be a Pilgrim, though sometimes I act like a traveler. I need to coordinate my actions with my beliefs more. Therefore I pray and ask God to reconcile my actions and beliefs.

  • Erin O’Dougherty

    Being a pilgrim reminds me of this beautiful advice given to me by a friend when I had to return to work after having my children. She said to me, “You may be the only Jesus those students will ever encounter .” So I am reminded that being a pilgrim means to live each day with that intention- I have the incredible gift to be Jesus to someone.❤️We ALL do!

  • Judy Tobin

    It means putting down those walls and letting God in to shine through you.I see that when I am watching Lindsey speak, a true pilgrim in dealing with her loss. Thank-you Lindsey

  • Beth

    To me a tourist is one who “takes” for his own sake….and remains untouched, unchanged by the experience….a spectator. A pilgrim gathers for the sake of others, receiving the same gifts of experiences and beauty as the tourist, but in receiving the gift he is ever mindful of the giver, and in gratitude is a good steward of all he receives…a pilgrim is a team player…

  • On Friday, I took a secular pilgimage of sorts. I got most of the day off, and we took the daycare kids to my favorite theme park from growing up. I still do not know if Roger Toffte is Christian, but he sure has a love of Children and a bad case of what Roadside America calls Concretia Dementia. The result is Enchanted Forest in Turner, Or. I never expected God to speak to me on this trip, it was as a tourist, not a pilgrim, that I took my 13 year old special needs son and two 4 year old daycare kids to show them a place that was special to me growing up.

    That began to change at the Old Lady In The Shoe slide. At 46, and grossly overweight, with a recent diagnosis of diabetes in the back of my mind, I found out why my father had always encouraged us to play on that slide: it is a peaceful place to sit on a bench and enjoy the forest.

    In the western town of Toffteville, watching a documentary, I learned Roger Toffte had gone to the same high school I did, and that God had given him a message there, one that applies to my life as well: a winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.

    I realize in my own sin of despair these last few years, that was precisely where my temptation to sin lay- in quitting.

    • Kj

      I would say you went on a Spiritual Pilgrimage that God used in a way that was familiar to you. I will keep you in my prayers, Theodore…

  • Nancy R

    For me, being a pilgrim is learning everyday to do God’s will and follow the path before me. When I let go of my will and put my faith first, life seems easier and I feel joy like never before. I see the beauty of life and am open to learning and doing God’s work.

  • Joanne Williams

    I always liked that phrase “we are a pilgrim people” – it reminded me of the pilgrims first thrust into my little brain in elementary school- very plain, hard-working, sacrificing, living a life pledged to faith…..not a bad thing. Not an easy thing. But worthwhile? Immensely.

  • Matt Brady

    I am thankful for Lindsey’s testimony in the second video. It took a lot of composure on her part to share something that personal and she did it gracefully. Indeed, her video really struck a cord with me. As a relatively new father, it reminds me to focus less on those things that don’t matter so much (e.g., work, material things, etc.) and to focus more on the things that truly matter, like my daughter and my wife. The idea of being pilgrim makes this even more important, because I’m not getting out of this world with anything I own, but I can hope that I will meet my family again, just like Lindsey hopes to see her father in heaven.

    Last, I just want to say that I think the “second videos” have been great! Their messages always catch me a bit off guard and give me something to think and pray about. Thanks to everyone for their willingness to share a piece of their lives. It matters!

  • Jean Walton

    Being a tourist is taking snapshots now to possibly reflect on later. Being a pilgrim is putting the camera down and soaking up each moment, getting the big picture, truly living in the moment with the destination of heaven in mind.

    • Laura leah Yarbrough

      You can live your life as a dress rehearsal or you can LIVE your life as an active participant. #tourist VS #Pilgrim

  • Elisabeth Nisley

    It means that you don’t just go through the motions of your journey. You are present at each moment, seeing God in each action and interaction. You make time for the people in your life and the things that are most important. That you put away the camera and see life through the lens of faith and meaning.

  • loeloe

    Being a pilgrim to me means that I have a constant goal and purpose instead of wandering this way and that like a butterfly. I do not know how to say this better; it is the image that came to me while pondering what the videos meant.

  • Angela Lusty

    To me being a tourist means you are looking for entertainment. Your goal each day is to find pleasure and entertainment in what you are doing. Being a pilgrim means your goals are focused on less tangible things….your goal should are less “self-centered” and are instead focused on others.

  • Deb Durrett

    Being a pilgrim is being on mission for our creator. Focusing on the things He wants for us, with us and through us. He’s so good!!

  • Maureen

    2 years ago,I became obsessed with watching the sunrise. I would get up drive to a nearby lake, sit and watch the colors unfold. At first the tourist came out , trying to snap a picture to capture the beauty and awe, but never could. One day I shut my phone off and decided rather than be distracted, I would just sit in the moment and enjoy. When I did this I was a pilgrim. When I stop, take a deep breath and just be, I am always amazed at the gifts I recieve.

    • BettyBee

      Maureen, that was one of the things I thought about when Matthew brought up the comparison of a tourist vs pilgrim. The tourist would be taking picture after picture. (very me!) The pilgrim would be focused on the moment, absorbing God is all that they see, feel and do. So “take a deep breath and just be” is the perfect advice!

    • Jody Barbin

      Wow this was great….. needs to be said over and over..expectations get us in trouble and seem to disappoint more than just being and receiving whatever..,but always in gratitude..Thks for your words.l.l

      • Carlos

        Jody, I think you discovered a hidden nugget that I missed about being a tourist. Tourists are slaves to their expectations. When something doesn’t go as planned they find fault. Pilgrims are able to deal with things as they happen because they are content in the journey and are grateful.

        • Carol Engmann

          I absolutely loved this. Said so perfectly

    • Teresa

      Perfectly said! Thank you ❤️

    • Sue Neumann

      Everyone’s posts here have been wonderful and I sit with tissue in my hand. However, yours caught my eye Maureen. Since the advent of digital cameras and cell phones I’ve become known as the paparazzi in my family. Driving them crazy and at every turn taking a picture, constantly a tourist in my own life! My husband and I recently returned from a vacation in sunny Florida (I live in Illinois) and I am so proud of myself. While I will confess to taking a few touristy pictures, I heeded my husband’s words which are always, you should just enjoy the moment and stop trying to capture it on film. He’s my example of a pilgrim, always living for the right now! I experienced the beauty of the ocean, the warmth of the sun and the genuineness of everyone I encountered by experiencing the moment as a pilgrim.

  • Robert

    Toughy and one I haven’t thought about much over the years. Focused more about being a good soul, and not really thinking about the destination.

    But today’s lesson, and the extra time thinking about heaven as suggested, brought me to this:

    There is one destination for our lives. Be a prepared traveler and live in Gods way, but turn off the gps and start listening more. Take guidance from the signs you see each day of one’s life.

    A work in progress but something to think about on my end.

  • JayAW

    I had a truly blessed thing happen to me yesterday at mass. I used to live in another city, then I moved back to my home area 2 1/2 years ago. While living in that city, I attended mass at a church where one of the priests was originally from my home area and he would often talk about this area during his sermons. After introducing myself to this priest, ironically, I learned that I had worked in the same office as this priest’s cousin for a time. A little over 2 1/2 years ago, this priest became a bishop of another diocese, so he left that city to take over at his new diocese. Yesterday while at mass, the bishop of my diocese presided over the mass and right behind him was the former priest from the city I lived in. He was in town visiting his mother and he decided to attend mass at the cathedral while he was in town. I started crying because it was a surprise to see him and I really missed his sermons, so it was so good to hear his voice. After mass, I spoke with him and he remembered me from the city we both formerly lived in. I truly felt the presence of God in my heart yesterday. I was so surprised to see him and it was like a fluke, but I know that it wasn’t. It was God putting us together again. I thank God for this happening to me.

  • Magalis Muniz

    To me being a pilgrim means to try your best to follow God’s plan. It means not worrying about superficial things but being thes best version of your self and to share that with others. Not to be judgmental but speak the truth while we are here.

  • Connie Jones Moore

    I tried to teach my children that the most important thing we can do in this life is to get to heaven in the next….and to take as many people with us as we can! That’s what being a pilgrim means to me…..

  • Rita Gahr

    To be a pilgrim is to place your trust in the Lord. Follow him in everything you do. If you stumble or fall, ask for help and forgiveness. To have faith that God is there for you and not be afraid at journeys end for you will have completed your pilgrimage on earth and beginning your one in heaven.

  • Marilyn Russell

    There is an abyss that only God can fill. My Dad died when I was twelve and he was such an inspiration to me on how to live life, serving others, being aware of those less fortunate than myself. i am grateful for the foundation that my Dad built for me taking me to daily Mass, being an example that actions do speak louder than words. The Lord, through the power of His Holy Spirit has strengthened this foundation through blessings and trials. We receive a picture of Heaven by reading and living the life of Jesus in the Bible and by following His commandments. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are guides along the way. I want to be a pilgrim.

  • Sandy Zabierowsky

    In 2008, I was blessed, had Angel watching over me, and visited Medjugore. At our 1st. Meeting of preparation, we were told you will be pilgrims and not tourists. This does make you think . I wanted to go there since I first heard about Medjugore. I even read books about this place. I’m a different person, the best I can say is I left a piece of my heart Medjugore and I can go there, in my mind, heart and soul whenever I choose.

    God Bless

  • Bill S

    Great reflection Lindsey. I heard an awesome homily from a priest while in St. Louis last year for a family reunion. He ended it by saying that he never saw a U-Haul truck following a hearse in a funeral procession. We cannot cling to our many possessions, especially because so many in our world go without basic essentials. We are on this journey towards heaven and need to be aware of those around us that are hurting and need our love, our help, our encouragement. Today’s reflection brought to mind one of my many favorite Stephen Curtis Chapman songs “Not Home Yet”.

    “I know there’ll be a moment, I know there’ll be a place.
    Where we will see our Savior and fall in His embrace.
    So let us not grow weary or too content to stay,
    Cause we are not home yet, we are not home yet, not home yet.”

    In an earlier BLE reflection, someone mention not fearing death. As I hit the ripe age of 65, I am starting to look forward to that day when I will finally end the pilgrimage and Go Home!! Blessings to all of you!

  • Elaine Rossi

    I was a pilgrim to the Ireland of St. Patrick last year. We ended up having a delay because our plane did not come in from Los Angeles in time for us to make our connection in Washington DC. We finally arrived in Washington DC and the airline put us up at the airport for the night. What a wonderful detour it turned out to be! We were able to get up and spend a good part of the day at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, including noon-time Mass, then walked to the JPII Institute. It happened to be closed, but we were able to visit the beautiful chapel they have there. What a magnificent way to start a pilgrimage!

  • Frank Ruzicka

    Consider the difference of what a pilgrim might pack for their journey versus a tourist. If you had to pack your bag today what would you be sure to include? What would you leave behind? So much of what we surround ourselves with is useless for the journey we will all someday take. Pack wisely for the journey!

  • Salwa

    Being a tourist to me is trying to cover and see as much attractive spots as we can superficially to enjoy our senses, on the other hand being a pilgrim is to focus on one deep spiritual purpose for the journey bypassing all these temping attractions.

  • Peggy

    Most of my life I’ve been a tourist. Now since I started this journey to have the “Best Lent Ever” I feel I am on a pilgrimage. Will I stumble from time to time, sure I will. Only now I will be able to realize that I stumbled and will pick myself up much sooner and continue on my pilgrimage.

  • Pat Sepeda

    It is hard to think about heaven, because all I have is earth to compare. Am I doing God’s will .? I worry I am not. My desire is to love him a day p.ease him.I feel like I am going through the valley and searching for Him.I know ,He loves me ,I feel His presence at times,I guess I will go on my pilgrim a day at a time searching for Him

  • Kevin Clark

    Being a pilgrim means that you can see Christ in everyone you meet. Sometimes this a daunting task but if you can bravely be this way today. This world would be a different place of hope , peace and less worrying about the things that are unimportant.

  • Alice

    After to listening to the videos it means being patient. Looking for signs from God in our life. Asking ouselves, What is God trying to teach me? This isn’t home. Like the Pilgrims we need to forge into the unknown and see and prepare for what lies ahead.

  • Susie Caughey

    Being a pilgrim to me means taking the hand of Jesus each morning and inviting Him to walk with me through my entire day; to assist me in making every decision in every moment. It means to eat every meal with Him in gratitude and to do my job like He was my boss. It means dealing with difficult people in my midst as He showed us in the gospel and praying for all who hurt me most. I too have been blessed to have made a Pilgrimage to The Holy Land 4 years ago with my dear mom. That trip made the Bible really come alive for me. I can totally place myself in all those places where Jesus walked the earth, was crucified, died and was buried for ME and YOU so we could rise again and be with HIM for eternity. I strive each day to be a Pilgrim and not a Tourist. However, I do constantly get asked directions in NYC! Maybe, I should be a tour guide!

  • Mel Babin

    Being a pilgrim can mean to get out of your comfort zone. Make yourself available to those whose disposition displeases you. This can be your neighbor, who wants to talk when you are trying to leave, maybe your co-worker who is having problems at home, a family member who may be difficult, etc. Seeing Christ in everyone you meet during each day with the desire to be there in the moment. God will help us take care of what we have to do. I believe He wants us to rise above our daily problems and help those around us.

  • Laura LaDue

    I have found that being a pilgrim is being on a journey. Discovering all that is around me and finding purpose. Looking for signs that I am on the right path. It is seeing Jesus’ face in those I encounter and looking for ways to better myself and help others.

  • Martha Krage Littenberg

    Being a pilgrim is being open to God’s will…Where do you need and want me each day. Where can I spread the Gospel and the good news. Some days I am a tourist, but I try to be a pilgrim every day. Today, I’m going to be a pilgrim..

  • SanctusSanctus

    Being a “pilgrim” means I’m on a short-term journey, seeking God wherever and whenever, and as other pilgrims, I’ll be returning home one day too! I am reminded that a pilgrim needs to travel lightly….

  • Paula Watson

    In 2012 my son was in a predicament. I prayed fervently that things go his way, and they did. There was much rejoicing. Six months later I discovered a lump and prayed just as fervently that I be spared breast cancer. I wasn’t. Not so much rejoicing. Years later, however, the events look completely different. My son’s apparent “success” in 2012 led to a situation that cost him dearly, and from which he would have been spared had things not gone as we had hoped. On the other hand, my cancer journey was a watershed of personal and spiritual growth, in which I felt God’s love as never before. My lesson, and for me it is a huge one, is that what I “want” and what is “best” may be very different. I surrender trying to make life be what I think it should be, and accept with trust that a loving God is guiding me, sometimes gently, and sometimes with what feels like a harsh shove, toward my salvation. For me, living like a Pilgrim is embracing the journey.

    • SanctusSanctus

      You have embraced such an important life lesson (and I am also), that our best prayers are always, “Thy will be done”. God bless you and I’m praying for you and please pray for me in a similar situation. Have a fruitful day in whatever our circumstances!

  • Sarena

    I think, what it means to be a pilgrim is enjoying all the little things life has to offer while we can and learning what we can before we move homeward. Every little thing we fail to embrace; clouds, stars, people, etc. We allow these moments to be stolen from us because we are so engulfed with our busy lives; and the thief is ourselves. Sometimes, when I watch the trees blow and the leaves trickle I am reminded that this is God and that God is everywhere.

  • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

    As a pilgrim I pray. “Dear Father, hold my trembling hand as I walk through my journey today.”

  • lizmvr

    Well, I’m just today really thinking about being a pilgrim but after this lesson, I will better try to look for signs of the path God wants me to follow. I’ll try to be searching for Hos Will for my life rather than merely praying that He shows it to me.

  • Ruth

    To me, being a pilgrim is listening carefully, to yourself, to God, and to the world and approaching each decision with humility and kindness. Tourism is losing the balance between those things and only focusing on what is immediately around me at the time.

  • Pete Gutierrez

    I am a pilgrim … I wasn’t always until my wife died in May of last year. This opened my eyes we are here but a short time . I am a Lutheran I believe in Jesus Christ ..I was married for 32 years and inseparable from my wife.
    I excepted gods plan right away not blaming him he has a plan for us . I did pray that I might find someone to replace my wife.i am not one to live alone I am so much better with a partner and he found me someone that loves god as I do and lost her husband . She also prayed to find a special person in her life and together we have strengthened our faith and walk with God and rejoice even if it’s only for our time on earth.. god has brought me closer with this incredible gift of mercy on me ..

  • RD

    To be a pilgrim does imply that the journey is because of God. We are looking for Him, trying to discover what He is about, trying to understand who He is and what we are to Him. We are following others who have taken this journey, and we are accompanied by other pilgrims with the same desire to know God (and as the journey goes on, the desire shifts to loving God and ultimately how can we serve God).

    Maybe there is even a back and forth as we start to love and serve and then encounter something along the road that confuses us, so we have to go back to just trying to know God again.

    Sometimes we find clues that pilgrims going before us have left behind. . . Sometimes we miss these great insights from others, and have to struggle along a section of the journey because of it.

    Sometimes those accompanying us, leave us for awhile (or even for the rest of the journey) because they choose a different fork in the path, or run ahead of us, or lag behind. We can meet new companions for parts of the journey; we can have steadfast companions for the majority of the journey. It’s a strange phenomenon because we are all journeying; all desiring so much to reach this holy place. . . yet the journey is never exactly the same for each pilgrim.

    Because of God’s grace, I do believe that every pilgrim does indeed reach this desire of his heart to know, love and serve God, however. When we arrive there we are in the company of all the pilgrims before us, all the pilgrims who accompanied us in any way on our own journey. And eventually all the pilgrims coming after us arrive also. God has such beautiful plans.

    Thank you Lord for this desire to know you; for this hunger for meaning that you alone satisfy; for this thirst for love that is quenched in a surprising and unlikely way. Thank you Lord for loving us, with such kindness and mercy and faithfulness. May our pilgrim journey share in, and spread, this love, forever. Amen

  • Tony Pantera

    “To walk in beauty” has been a general rule I picked up on a long time ago. It is not so much the destination, but the journey. This has served me well. Today’s topic has me realizing that making the pilgrimage through life is like that, only the destination is indeed important, for that destination is heaven.

    • SanctusSanctus

      Do you need a map to get to the destination?

  • Angie O’Mara

    To be a pilgrim means to me, to live each day trying to do God’s Holy will. Being present with God’s love for others, and to show kindness and love in the face of adversity. I have only one trip in this journey called life, and I want to do it with God, love and kindness.

  • Prolifedem6M

    It means facing the uncertainties of life with confidence that there is a meaning, even when you don’t understand it.It means letting God find your direction and following that. It means looking out for fellow pilgrims and for those who are not aware that they are on pilgrimage.

  • Julie Concannon

    Everyday I ask myself this question. I think thst those who have lost lived ones…especially early are particularly thoughtful about this question. A pilgrim is an adventurer in God’s plan. They are not afraid to shed the accutrements of today as world yo become closer to God and those they love.

  • Kimberly Trapp

    P-I-L-G-R-I-M-S: Pursuing Intimacy, Live-in Godliness, Remain In (the) Masters Service.

    Pursuit of intimacy with God, the one relationship that is necessary for the rest of our lives. Living in Godliness through God’s Word, prayer, and with the help of the Holy Spirit and remaining in God’s service by sharing His word in my thoughts, my words, and in my daily actions.

    • Ma

      Wow Kimberly, nicely stated! I’m coping this to my pilgrim page for daily, sometimes hourly reminder. Thanks for sharing 💕

    • Donna R.

      Kimberly, this is an excellent mnemonic and explanation of each part. I’ve copied it into the journal I’ve been keeping during the “Best Lent Ever” lessons. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Carol

    As Matthew said we were told we were pilgrims when we were visiting the HolyLand. Now to apply this thinking to everyday life is awesome to me. You know I didn’t realize but I have changed my thinking since my trip to the HolyLand. Listening to this podcast brought it to light. Thank you!!

  • J Schodron

    Being a pilgrim is accepting what God has given us and to be truly thankful every day. As Lindsey refers to in the video, life is a gift, Cherish every day. Way too often we are tourists just taking in the scenery and do not slow down and do what is right and just.

  • Mike Prepura

    To me being a pilgrim is living one’s life always ready to take the road that God directs us to. Are agenda is not always God’s agenda. The things of this world can be a distraction to God’s real direction for us. We must always be prepared to say your will be done Lord…then follow where he is leading our lives!

  • Katrina Winograd

    To be a pilgrim means to be on an everlasting journey. A vacation is finite, but to be on a pilgrimage means to be on an infinite quest to be our best selves that God intends us to be.

  • Teri Hernandez

    I was a youth minister brining a group from Texas to WYD in Sydney. I remember being stuck at LAX for about 11 hours before our flight to Sydney. There were several other groups there, including a few priests traveling with them. They set up a make-shift altar in the terminal and held Mass for everyone. The priest spoke this line during his homily…We are pilgrims, not tourists. That mantra got us through many difficulties during WYD. Whenever anyone was tempted to complain, we all yelled “We’re pilgrims, not tourists!” It truly helped. But we knew it was only for a week and we could tolerate difficulties that long. I guess the thought of being able to say that for 50, 60, 70 years seems impossible to me.

  • Jane

    “Keep your eyes to the heavens” I try to do this every day, to look for signs, even the slightest of signs from God. Every day that I am given in this world is a chance for me to be “Christ”to someone even in just a small way and that is always an exciting thing! These are the thoughts that keep me on the journey or the pilgrimage through this time on earth.

  • Judy N

    For the third time in 5 days the Thomas Merton prayer has been “presented” to me!🙏 Thinking I need to pray on this. I am in a time of contemplation, struggling with a big career transition, and have been praying that God will show me the right path! Then this prayer….and Matthew’s challenge question about Pilgrim or Tourist in Life. I know He is speaking to me, praying that I am hearing Him correctly. “Your will be done”.

    • Jo Martin

      5 times is a good indication you are a Pilgrim seeking your Lord’s will!! How wonderful it is that He is speaking to you!!

    • NancyB

      This prayer was new to me but I was so inspired that I copied it to my desktop so that I can pray it every time I open my PC. I felt that it was written just for me.

  • Paul

    In reviewing the videos, and trying to compare pilgrims and tourists, I think the tourist looks for the most familiar, heavily traveled roads leading to the popular places. A pilgrim on the other hand is looking to follow God wherever He may lead us. This may mean the road less traveled, or a place less popular. We may not understand at first His plan. But a pilgrim has trust and faith.

    • NancyB

      I love your words, Paul. Thank you

  • Mary Sincebaugh

    In a wonderful book called “The Screwtape Letters”, C.S.Lewis uses the devil as the one who keeps people thinking of the cares of this world to distract us from concentrating on God and his plan: am I hungry, what should I wear, who should I date, that person can’t drive as good as me! Focus on the future in heaven, God Bless.

    • Patty Lou

      I have had trouble with the distractions of this world. I used to plan exactly what “I” wanted to accomplish every day. There were always things that got in the way of my plans. I am getting better about letting God lead me through the day and I find the most important things always get done if I just go with God’s flow. I believe following his plan is a pilgrimage.

  • Dorothy Huebner

    As a Secular Franciscan, formerly know as Third Order, I am in the world but not of it. To me this means I try not to get attached to worldly things which is not always easy to do. I know that everything I have is on loan to me from God. I don’t own anything and God can take it away from me any time He feels I am getting to attached to this worldly items. i think being a pilgrim is putting God first in our lives and asking Him every morning for His help to do His will.

  • Pat

    Being a pilgrim is passing through to reach a destination.

  • Michelle Walters

    Being a pilgrim means I’m here to serve God. I’m not here to be just good enough to get by, or demand anything from Him. It means when things don’t go as I planned, I trust God and His plan for me instead of placing faith in my own. It means when the enemy attacks, I seek strength, wisdom, and guidance from God, instead of giving up. It means when everything in my life twists, turns, and the future seems full of gloom, I choose to remain joyful (as much as I can be) in God, knowing I’m just passing through. It means knowing I’m going to mess up, fall short, make huge mistakes, hurt others unintentionally, and be clumsy. But I still get up, dust myself off, make amends, and follow God, because He loves me and will never leave me, and ultimately, this world is not my home.

  • Emma Spaulding

    To be a pilgrim means to love God, do good, and see the positive in all situations. Pilgrims are there to lead the way, help out the less fortunate, not worry on the small things or on the things that do not really matter: but are there to be with God, spread His love and mercy, and know that God is in control. Most of us probably can say that we live as tourists more than pilgrims, but try out best to be pilgrims. It takes a little more effort,care, forgiveness, love, and dedication to be a pilgrim, but it is all worth it in the end when we get to spend eternity in Heaven with God.

  • jesspinosa

    I think of heaven all the time because hell is present all the time. When I hear about political squabbles, the latest ISIS atrocity, children going hungry, I long for heaven where there is only peace and joy. When I pray at Planned Parenthood, where I witness a continuous stream of women entering that killing factory and where hecklers insult and curse us, that is hell right before my eyes, and I think of meeting the aborted babies in heaven. When I worry about taxes, finances, my health, my loved ones’ sufferings, I long for heaven where Someone will wipe away our tears. Recently, on the same day that the Women’s March was going on, during which women, and men and children, were chanting and waving placards with obscene messages, I was inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral where we were praying for peace. That day, all it took was one small step to being in heaven one moment and in hell the next.

  • Delaine Shay

    My husband is 18 years older than me, 84 and I am 66. I love him dearly and would marry him all over again.
    I have had many health problems before and during our marriage. And we’ve had lots of joy!
    I grew up with a lot of trauma and deaths. Also a lot of fun and laughter!
    I am in the midst of writing my faith memoir which I believe God put the desire in me to do. It has been a pilgrimage of joy, sorrow and a feeling that God has asked me to do this to not only help others (maybe just one person) but also to give me a transformative experience of how I can grieve and still reframe my past. And how easy it is to forget to hold His hand, to forget to ask for His help.
    I have not though a lot about heaven except from an early age planning on being there with my loved ones and free of pain and sorrow. And what it will be like to see Jesus.

    • Judy

      Delanie, good for you in following God’s calling to record your faith journey. I had a smiliar experience, and the nudges just would not stop until I finished my story. If felt great to be finished, yet as you so well described, “a transformative experience of how I can grieve and still reframe my past.” Powerful stuff. Thank you.

  • Kathy

    Some pilgrimages are too short. Our small community lost 5 children to a house fire Saturday morning. I pray for their sweet souls and for the journey their family now faces.

  • Rosie

    For me being a pilgrim is to strive everyday to allow God to teach and lead me through my amazing days as well as my tough ones. I think it also means placing emphasis on the important stuff in my life and nurturing those relationships, rather than worrying about all the “noise”.

  • Andrea Leos

    I use to be more of a tourist. Going through my own challenges in life, I am becoming more of a pilgrim. I am learning to trust god and his plan for my life. During this lent season, I believe god is teaching me forgiveness. To let go of past pains and hurts. To not worry so much but to trust his plans. If it’s anything I know about god is that he has protected me my whole life and continues to protect me. I believe he has big plans for my life and my families life. He is not done with me on this earth. My journey is just starting. I am learning to put my focus in the present moment. To find my happiness in relationships, and things that matter most. I can not make other people happy and I am learning that I am not in charge of other people happiness. I am in charge of my own happiness. Everyday I am intentional about finding things to be thankful for. I am aware of the things that rob me of my joy. God knows this, I will not ever allow that to happen again.

  • I couldn’t have answered this before watching the video because I believe I live as a tourist. This message was very insightful for me. This entire Lenten journey has been. I can see how I’m longing to be a pilgrim, longing to find greater meaning in my time here, which is what I now see as a pilgrimage. Being a pilgrim is becoming clearer every day as I experience these messages from Matthew, his staff and each of you. This earthly life is my pilgrimage and every day I must live with intent to do God’s will, to listen for and hear him, to respond with good and great deeds, and to leave behind each day something better than it was before I touched it.

  • Constance Griffith

    Pilgrim indeed!
    I’ve always been lookin out windows, (so to speak) watchin the world go by. Lookin at what everyone else has and Comparing what they have to what I have not. A Tourest…in all sense of the word!
    But now I have found the Lord! And none of that matters to me anymore. Well most of it doesn’t matter. Heh, I’m only human. I’ve been saying all along that my RCIA classes have been a wonderful Journey. And all along…
    IT’S BEEN ON A WONDERFUL PILGRIMAGE TO MY GOD
    I’M A PILGRIM

  • Rosemarie

    What a beautiful prayer. I’ve never seen this before. I am happy they shared it with us. 🙂

  • CathieHeenan

    For me to be a Pilgrim is to help others out even if it’s just listening to their problems. Letting them know you are there. To be close to God by following the 10 commandments. To be your best self you can be.

  • Lino Viola

    I’m on the 15th hole of my journey. I’ve hit the fairway on the first shot just twice but being in the rough and woods most of the time has been my pilgrimage. I know I’m headed for the 18th green but I’m down to my last ball in my bag. Only God knows how and if I will make it. My desire to get there is still strong, therefore I place my trust in the Lord.

    • Carlos

      Love the analogy. Your golf references are quite effective!

    • Frank Ruzicka

      In life, as well as the fairway, sometimes we end up in the rough or the woods. While we are searching God often times will bless us as we stumble upon a Pro V1! Not sure if the lesson is to never give up looking while we get off the spiritual fairway or always be open and willing to accept a priceless gift from God? Either way, we need to keep working towards the pin no matter how many strokes.

      • Lino Viola

        Well said!

  • Judy

    A pilgrim has an adventurous heart; one that is willing to make time to turn over the rocks on the path to discover what lays beneath them.

    A pilgrim is able to journey alone for a while when solitude is part of God’s plan. Likewise, a pilgrim enjoys fellowship with the communities being passed through.

    They make time for reflective prayer, time for peace with God, time to be the hands of Christ, and help others. There are so many attributes that encompass what it means to be a pilgrim, that one would need a job description to define this fearless person. That’s not to say a pilgrim never gets afraid; fear is a powerful emotion, and it creeps up when least expected.

    What I mean by fearless person is one who forges onward knowing not where the path leads, to just follow the path in faith, believing God has the map and will light the path.

    It takes courage to be a pilgrim. There are times when I am a pilgrim, days when I am a tourist, yet many times I am a combination of both.

  • To me, being a pilgrim means being mindful throughout the day. For the longest time I would pray that God would make me aware of his will. Then I realized that I have a part in this too! I needed to proactively try to discern his will, not just wait to be hit over the head. So, I try very hard to be a pilgrim every day. When there’s a delay, instead of being impatient I’ll tell myself that there’s a reason God has changed my schedule. I may or may not ever know what that is, but it makes me think and keeps me calm. Am I sometimes a tourist? Of course. But by being more mindful I am quicker to realize when I’ve slipped into that role.

  • Kathy

    To me, being a pilgrim means having the courage and self-discipline to follow where the Holy Spirit leads. Not sitting by the wayside and taking the easy road. The Holy Spirit has led me to many fulfilling and exciting activities where I can really make a difference. Following Him leads me to joy every day!

  • NancyB

    Being a pilgrim is simply following Christ on my journey through this life to heaven. My journey has many road blocks and reasons to stumble, but with grace of the Holy Spirit, I can jump back on track. Like Lindsey, I have so many people I hope to see when I get there! God Bless you all on your spiritual journey!

  • Cherise

    I think it means being present. For example, the late plane. Maybe it’s an opportunity to connect with a new person. But if you’re not in that mindset, you can totally miss that. Being present is one of my biggest challenges.

    • Mike

      Totally agree with you Cherise being present and having the Grace of awareness
      God Bless you and keep up the good fight 🙂

  • Therese Tamburello

    One time when my niece was only about five years old, she told all my siblings, “We are just renting here” (on this earth). In other words, we are pilgrims going to a better place, so act accordingly. That was the best advice a five year old could give us. Out of the mouth of babes….

  • Karen VanDeCasteele

    My friend’s mother is in Hospice and I’ve been wondering what more I can do besides pray. I’ve decided to take a meal or two to them as she has been spending a lot of time with her mother. Would love to hear how you have been a pilgrim to others…

  • Scott Sowers

    Looked it up just for the heck of it and here’s what it says. “A pilgrim is a traveler (literally one who has come from afar) who is on a journey to a holy place. Typically, this is a physical journey (often on foot) to some place of special significance to the adherent of a particular religious belief system. In the spiritual literature of Christianity, the concept of pilgrim and pilgrimage may refer to the experience of life in the world or to the inner path of the spiritual aspirant from a state of wretchedness to a state of beatitude.” I heard this the other day about your birthday. “Your birthday is the day that God decided the world would be a better place with you in it.” From the day you are born on this earth you are on a journey, pilgrimage if you wish, until the day you leave. You cannot choose the day or who you are when you come into it, nor do you know the day or how you will leave it. What you can do is work on how you will spend your time while you’re here. The older I’ve gotten, the more my journey has led me from “wretchedness to a state of beatitude”. I never really thought of the difference between a tourist and a pilgrim. Looking back, I wish I’d have been more of a pilgrim. There were times I was, but more times I was not, I was a tourist. The world and all its “noise”, tends to lead you that way, if you allow it. This past Saturday Sharon and I took Gloria, our 29-year young special needs daughter, to Stone Mountain Park for her birthday. We spent the entire day doing everything we could. We went shopping, took the sky lift to the top and back, road the train around the mountain, went to the 4-D movie, had lunch and walked all over the place. We ended the day, exhausted, with dinner at one of our favorite places. Sunday night I asked Gloria what was her favorite thing on her birthday Saturday, and she simply replied, “Spending time with you and mom.” Wow. The things I learn from her are gifts from God. So, knowing I have come a long way, I still have a long way to go before I leave this rock. I am going to concentrate more on what really matters and be more of a pilgrim like Gloria. God bless.

  • Maria

    I think it means being open to changes in your plans. You may not get to see all the things you wanted to see, but at the same time, you get a multitude of experiences you never dreamed of. God is in control of where you go in life and you will find happiness all throughout if you let Him have that control.

  • Glen Arcalas

    Pilgrim to me is taking each day as a new journey to make a difference be a part of some ones life even for a brief moment, being there for them and moving on. Things and places might be the same but there might be a different situation or person that God intended for me to interact with either for my benefit or theirs or both.

  • Clare54

    Thank you for posting the Pilgrim’s Prayer! I had never read it before and relate.
    I’ve been thinking about this question for most of this morning. Am I a Pilgrim or a Tourist? I think I have been both during my life. I think being a tourist has brought me to a current place of being a Pilgrim. For the many year’s of my childhood and then raising my family I went through life doing what other’s expected of me and going through the motion’s of doing life correctly. I fell short so many times through those year’s. When I look back at those year’s I always wanted more! Burned myself out at work always doing what *more* can I do. I always expected more from myself. Tried harder, failed more often. In this very last year that *more* has developed in a stronger prayer life and deep yearning to feel closer to Christ. To Love and Trust Him More. To be a much better Catholic than I ever was. My focus now and the more that I have found is keeping my eye’s on God. Praying more and Trusting Him more and knowing that everything is out off my control and in His Hands Only has brought me more peace and less anxiety. I feel I am on a Pilgrimage and hope to remain their for the remainder of my life. I do believe that this life is just a passing through to the Eternal Life God has planned for us.

    • Carlos

      Clare54, I share your sentiment about our time being tourists funneling us towards a life as a pilgrim. We become so entangled in life that we feel like we don’t have an opportunity to experience all that life can offer. As Matthew said at the beginning of our Lenten journey, we are so busy trying to be happy that it takes us away from the things that matter most and that bring true happiness. I really feel it has a lot to do with our struggle for control, somehow actually convincing ourselves that we can find a better way than God, especially when we are young. It looks pretty silly looking back at it now.

      • Clare54

        I think your right Carlos. It makes me sad to know that I have denied Christ and His direction. But I am so grateful that he continues to choose me and call me back to Him. I may have less time in this life but I am grateful for the time I do have to work on Eternal Life. When I look back now it’s been part of the journey. God Bless

    • NancyB

      So truly true!

  • MaryAnne Casaul

    The older I get the more I think of myself as a pilgrim. I’ve always thought about heaven and after the death of several relatives I have had dreams of it. While there are days that I still live like a tourist, I strive daily to be the pilgrim and converse with God to give me the strength and wisdom to do His will for my life. It is a journey.

  • Rosie

    To be a pilgrim to me means continuously working my way to Jesus in this life. This is my pilgrimage. I probably will never get to one of those holy places to do a pilgrimage so my daily life is who I am as a pilgrim. My responsibilities as a pilgrim is to continue to grow in my faith and continue to bring others with me who are on the same pilgrimage, some of whom don’t realize and influence them to become a part of worshipping God and continuing His Kingdom here on earth. This is a holy place because God made everything good and He left it up to us to continue to keep all things good and continue to bring others with us by our actions and words.

    • Lisa

      “to bring others with me” Good for you. I know a story about a woman who had a broken leg and friends brought her to Medjurgorje. She went to be a tourist and as a tourist, was disappointed to be at a place where people were praying. She was miraculously healed of her broken leg and came away completely changed. So, even when a person is just a tourist in this life, it is good to “bring them along”. You never know what will happen. 🙂

      • Rosie

        Great Lisa. We are called to share the Good News any way we can. That shows that God is always looking out for us to bring us back to the fold even when we don’t want to be.

  • Marie

    This can not be coincidence but really God speaking to me because I’m leaving for Rome today for pilgrimage and leaving my 6 year old behind, and I’ve been worried since I’m scared to fly and we are already having a little separation anxiety. This has given me more faith that everything will be ok. I know he has a wonderful plan ahead. Glory to God!

  • Danny Centurioni

    I love listening to Matthew, but I have to admit, I always look forward to scrolling down and viewing the second video from his amazing team members.
    What a wonderful group of faithful believers Dynamic Catholic has pulled together.
    Not bad, for a “passing fad” as Matthew described what he was told by a prominent preacher in his book “Resisting Happiness”

  • Genie C Balantac

    … It hit me this morning through all my Spiritual rituals: I am a Pilgrim. Thank you Matthew for enlightening me!

  • christol murch

    If you ever watched a John Wayne western, you heard Wayne say often, “Listen Pilgrim.”
    As a Christian wanderer on this earth, I find listening is my best tool.
    Taking time for the “Quiet” every day so that I can hear what God wants from me is an essential part of my life.
    My wandering as a pilgrim then becomes directed and blessed. Most of the time that means forgetting myself and helping others.

  • Lisa

    My grandmother used to say, “We are put on this earth to help each other.” A tourist is there to observe, period.

  • Leslie M

    Matthew Kelly, It’s like a light just switched on! Thank you for your words, not just today, but especially today. This is my first experience with Dynamic Catholic and truly this has been the “Best Lent Ever” for me. Thank you. Thank you all at Dynamic Catholic!

  • Marie-Catherine

    I think of a tourist as a person who is casually traveling, seeking pleasure for pleasure’s sake and I think of a pilgrim as a person who is on a purposeful journey, seeking God’s will. Matthew’s video today was a great reminder for me that I need to become more of a pilgrim in my everyday life…to think of others more and to be recognize more of the opportunities that God puts into my life.

  • Marie Patterfritz Reinhart

    When I think of a tourist I see a person taking time out of their everyday life and visiting places of beauty for enjoyment and relaxation, just passing through. When I think of a pilgrim I see a person going on a personal journey through life seeking God to help them as they wander to the eternal place in Heaven. Tourists come and go, pilgrims wander to their destiny with God.

  • owjw

    To me the most important part of being a pilgrim is focusing on becoming more and more humble and when in the world as we are, to look for opportunities to give the glory and honor to God even during the times we were an important part of something that was accomplished. We know we can do nothing without God…all we have and are is His.

  • Carlos

    For me, a pilgrim is someone who actively seeks something better. Pilgrims live actively in the present while still looking ahead for the promise of a new life. It’s this promise and desire for something better that propels them forward towards their goal. They are willing to take risks, to work hard and to explore the boundaries of their world in order to find God’s plan for them. The world is amazing to pilgrims because it has so much good to offer. I think we all are finding this something better is God and his kingdom. It’s even more amazing that God gives us so many glimpses during our lives. Most of all, pilgrims enjoy the journey! This is something that I think we all have difficulty with at times in our lives.

  • Kateri Meier

    I really enjoy reading all the comments on here. I have found good books to read and very helpful suggestions.

    Last year my husband and I were wanting to celebrate our 30 anniversary and do something different. We discussed going on vacation to St. Maartens and my husband called a travel agent. Next thing I knew we were going to Costa Rica!

    As it turns out, on our last full day there, we met a couple who had just lost their 15 YO son right before Christmas. The mom and daughters visited with me while my husband and hers were in the pool. Come to find out, her husband was having a tremendous amount of pain, anger and was questioning his faith in God (understandable).

    When she was done visiting with me, I looked at her and said “there’s a reason why you met me and my husband. You see, my husband is a trained counselor and a faithful man. I can guarantee you they are visiting.”

    Our husbands came back to the chairs and we prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with them. God is truly good! We thought we were in Costa Rica as tourists. I guess God had better plans 😊.

  • Michael Ennis

    Being a pilgrim is opening yourself up to all awareness. There is no itinerary to follow. If the impulse is to stop a moment look around and reflect…you do so. If the impulse is to keep on going….you do so. Pilgrims are meant to engage in their entire surroundings, not to have tunnel vision, or tunnel sensory reception.
    God Bless

  • Amy Reinhardt

    I hadn’t thought about life being a pitstop compared to Heaven until I participated in Best Lent Ever. After my Oma got her cancer diagnosis and we moved her into hospice, I started reflecting a lot on Heaven. At one point, Satan tried to unravel my faith by making me doubt the existence of Heaven. I thought, “What if nothing comes after this? What if we die and we’re stuck in an eternal blackness?” It wasn’t until I spoke these thoughts to my boyfriend that I realized how ridiculous it all sounded. Of course there’s a Heaven, and of course there’s a God, and He’s waiting for us and wanting to do everything He can to help us get there. So, being a pilgrim to me means trusting our faith and making decisions everyday that will help move us closer to spending an eternity with God and the ones we love.

  • Christopher Jachulski

    Being a pilgrim is getting up in the morning thanking God you got another day to make things right and to serve. My brother in law Steve once said that if you can’t see God in your day to day, you’re not paying attention. Bea pilgrim! We’ve got too many tourists around us. Maybe it’ll rub off, to quote Tower of Power.

  • Jimmy Smith

    I have to agree with miss Lindsey since I woke up and came back to got back in the church I have my eyes wide open lookIng for signs from God and have received plenty

  • LJ

    Pilgrims looking for God seemingly have relationship, community, love and these are things the transient does not have. So does this mean the quest for life with a capitol “L” is non existent for them? My empathy has cause me to squander my professionalism and I find myself near being destitute ,for two reasons: 1st, the arts are not needed here and 2nd, I have a small property here, I am resident and tax payer.

  • Shelley

    I need to be a pilgrim.

  • Nicole M.

    Best Lent Ever has really opened my eyes. So often I find myself going back to bad habits and being what I call a tourist. I get so caught up in every day life that I sometimes can’t see what is right in front of me. I don’t ever want to lose meaning in my life and I need to wake up each day and be thankful for everything and everyone that is in my life. Being a pilgrim means you are looking for signs and glimpses of heaven and living each day not just for yourself, but for others. I think it’s so important to make the most of your time here on Earth. I have to realize that this life is temporary and every day I need to truly live.

  • Jane Lenzer

    l believe that a pilgrim is a traveler sometimes in strange places and under strange circumstances. Each one we come across is a piece of the answer to the questions we seek, lt’s seeking, always seeking, looking and finding the things that matter.. Sometimes we have to move a lot of dirt to get to the gold.

  • judith

    to be a pilgrim is to do right things in life as Jesus taught us, but is not easy !!!!,

  • Janet Daly

    When my husband and I asked our parish priest to get tickets for us to see Pope John Paul II, we received the tickets with a letter that began, Dear Pilgrims. That immediately caused us to rethink our trip to Rome. Fortunately we were staying in a convent and attended daily Mass with the nuns and throughout the trip, had an entirely different attitude about the “pilgrimage” we were on…even when we returned home. That salutation made us think about our lives and made us remember we are pilgrims traveling to “live in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives.”

  • jim

    being a pilgrim means being prepared and open for things to be much better than you can imagine or engineer

  • Karen

    The Act for today is to spend some time thinking about heaven. I have a hard time thinking about heaven, I can’t seem to get a handle on it. I know it is more beautiful than anything I have ever seen and that we will be united with so many wonderful people who are already there, I still get stuck in what I think about it.

  • Jacinta Freeman

    Am I a pilgrim or a tourist? I used to think that I’m a pilgrim, but the more I reflect, I think I have been a tourist for ever so long. I’ve just been cheating myself. See, tourists buy mementos to remember the time they spent at the place they vacationed. I might not be vacationing at home, but the amount of things I have accumulated certainly is the exact opposite of how a pilgrim would live – minimally, simply and totally trusting in the Lord’s providence.

    I remember when I went half-way around the world to go to college 20 over years ago, I kept telling myself that someday I was going to go home and I didn’t want the hassle of lugging things across the globe when the time came. So, I really lived with the bare necessities. I trusted that what I had was sufficient for me, and indeed it was. God took care of everything. I had enough money to pay the rent even though I didn’t have a job (my visa didn’t allow it). I had enough clothes so long as I did my laundry every weekend. I had enough food to eat and had spare to share with the soup kitchen. This meant that I had to forgo partying with my roommates and friends, but those times spent at the soup kitchen shaped me more than I ever knew.

    Now, in the comforts of ‘home’, I’ve lost that sense of detachment. I’ve forgotten how to rely on the Lord. I’ve forgotten that this earthly abode is not my true home. And I’ve been lugging around a lot of useless junk – physical, emotional and spiritual. Help me Lord, to find my home in You.

    • Marise Robinson Petry

      Thank you, Jacinta, for your reflection. I think I too have forgotten to rely on God. Sometimes I get caught up in the trappings of being comfortable, doing my thing that I forget that I am called to seek more. Your words made me stop and think. Thanks. Blessings.

  • Todd St.Romain

    I was called to a Pilgrimage of The Holy Land in Israel two years ago. I couldn’t believe nobody wanted to come with me. I arrived as a tourist and was transformed into a Pilgrim as we visited the many sights where Jesus taught, healed and cured. Being removed from my busy life on this earth and immersing myself into the Pilgrimage was like a new birth for me. Upon arriving home I wanted everyone to feel the same way I did, but mostly everyone was busy running their own race. So learning how to live daily as a pilgrim after coming home has been a challenge.
    The Bible and gospels have taken on a whole new meaning for me and I seek his presence more and more each and every day

  • Colleen Braun

    Being a pilgrim to me means trying to follow Gods lead and putting Him in every second of my life! As a child my parents taught us that everything we do all day is a prayer to God! Talk to Him like you talk to your BFF but always with respect and love! That is how I live my life and I just never want to let God down with my words, actions or sighs! I want to follow Him on the path to eternity because this life is only a pin head in comparison to eternity! I can go without a lot here because the end of the journey will be well worth the wait for Joys and I will be with everyone in heaven forever!!!

    • Arthur Brown

      God bless you and I hope more Catholics share what you are living so that others can see that the Catholic faith is the Love of God and not just motions or when there are bad actors it shows that God’s love will be shown to the world as a candle to give light and if thousands and thousands of us do it we can light up a bigger place to show Gods love to this world.

  • Arthur Brown

    We are pilgrims as we are here in some cases days and others years and years. When I was younger I never worried about dying because it was to far out to think about. Not really as I have learned over the years, as no one knows the time and place of your individual passing. Be thankful, love compassionately and give all you can mentally, spiritually, physically and monetarily with giving of the heart and not because you felt you had to. That is what God wants and that I believe is what God rewards us and expect us to be. I am always thankful for the day and trying to do His will and become the best version of myself as He sees me. God Bless each and everyone of you in your daily spiritual journey with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

  • Niove Candida Rosario

    Life has taught me a lot of lessons, unfortunately thru hardships and many difficult moments in my life, however I would not trade them for the world because they got me closer to God. I am turning 45 this June and I am at a stage in my life where all that matters is one day being received in heaven with the words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”. I don’t take that lightly as I know it needs to be earned and that is my goal for the remainder of my time on earth. I was a tourist for a long time but I am now a pilgrim on my way to heaven!

  • Genny La Peregrina

    I realized I was a pilgrim about 40 years ago when I came to live in this beautiful country I used to go back home and felt as passing through and called myself Peregrina… the psalm that says … “one thing I ask to live In The house of the Lord all the days of my life… ‘”… in the meantime at 63 I love to help my family and enjoy my only new grand baby girl!
    Thank you all for so many great points
    indeed it has been the best lent ever !
    God bless all of us just for trying !

  • Mich Smi

    my dad’s sick in the hospital please pray for him i can relate to what she’s saying about wanting one’s dad in heaven one day to see them again 🙂 visiting him in the hospital has been like a daily pilgrimage… bringing him comforting prayers

  • Kurt

    The difference between a pilgrim and a tourist is the level of commitment. Being a pilgrim is more involved, focused and dedicated to what they are dealing with. A tourist has a just visiting mentality.

  • Donna R.

    I think that part of being a pilgim is to slow down and enjoy the journey, wherever God takes us. A tourist usually has an itinerary, and is sometimes so busy trying to fit everything in during the time they have, that they don’t take the time to fully enjoy and appreciate what’s in front of them. Jesus said he came to give us an abundant life. That tells me he wants me to take this journey of life one day at a time, and at a pace that allows me to fully enjoy everything God has made, to take the time to look for and understand the lessons he is teaching me along the way, and to slow down enough to notice if he is prompting me to help another pilgim along the way–or perhaps to lead a lost pilgrim back to the right path.

    Also, if a tourist gets sick, they feel that the trip is ruined. But a pilgrim will look to God to ask what lesson God is trying to teach them through the illness, whether the illness is short-term or chronic. Through illness, the Lord can strengthen our faith and trust in him; teach us patience, courage, humility; can teach us to be more compassionate toward others; and can use us in ways we never dreamed possible.

  • Barbara

    Recently a friend asked me to go on a cruise with her. Although we picked monasteries and churches for our excursions, I wasn’t satisfied that I was going to have a spiritual experience. Then I thought how close we were to Fatima and that this is the 100 year anniversary. We decided to go a couple of days early to make this Pilgrimage. Today, Matthew’s video was a strong reminder that my entire life is a pilgrimage. It’s all in how I approach each day ready to listen to God speak to my heart about how I can serve Him and witness His hand in each encounter that I have. All those little moments bring such joy and fulfillment.

  • Lynn Keiner

    It helps me to realize that everyone I meet is a fellow pilgrim. To remember that each person is a child of God. I remind myself many times a day. It keeps me from being self centered.

  • Bobbie

    Somewhere it is said that we are all doors for Christ – but if we don’t open the door (ourselves) then Christ won’t be seen – by others – to me that’s what being a pilgrim is – opening the door so Christ can speak to others through us

  • Kyle Isaack

    Being a pilgrim means journey this life with Dynamic Catholic to strengthen our Faith in Christ, Become the best version of ourselves and truly seeking Heaven.

    Keep up the great work DCI

  • Loretta Dahlweiner

    I am really more interested in my Lenten fasting and more this year and feeling closer to Jesus. I would love to have a copy of the Pilgrims Prayer to share with my church family.

  • Paula Hecker

    Being a pilgrim instead of a tourist takes the pressure off us to be responsible for all our activities in life. All too often there is a focus of being entertained now-a-days. Since we get bored so easily, it is an insatiable appetite, but as a pilgrim, you get up in the morning, and dedicate your day to God. Like the people in the desert, He’ll be a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night for us. No matter what happens that day, if you trust in Him it is okay! It says that at Meriba and Masah they provoked Him, but I wonder if He was also hurt by the fact that after all God did to prove to the Israelites His great love and tender mercy to have them still not trust Him, He wasn’t also hurt because of their unbelief? How often do I hurt Him with mistrust, fear, and stubbornness? I pray that I can be a pilgrim, and faithfully follow His agenda in my life!

  • Lyndsay Sullivan

    I feel that being a pilgrim means that I am searching for answers to my questions. Forr me that is spending time learning different points of view whether that be an ecumenical discussion with people of different faiths and cultures. I search for common qualities between many different people, not because I am seeking something new rather it is because I have found myself in love with God and want others to find this as well even if it means that they find their own way to God. I also seek to understand their experiences so that I might pray for them.

  • Peg

    Being a pilgrim has me more aware and in touch of OTHERS. Being alert to how my family members, friends and even strangers that join me on my daily journey are doing. Not to hesitate to send a note, make a call, fill a need that another may which in turn may brighten their day. Rid myself of “self” and focus on others.

  • MurphsLaw

    Off topic, but not really…..
    Save what you can…save and make a pilgrimage to Rome – and the Holy Land – if you can. (but not in summer)
    These are places like no other – always there waiting for the pilgrim.
    Do it- the only regret you will have is not doing it.

  • Susan Palazzolo

    I get really dismayed when people say they are going some place to visit because it’s on their “bucket list”. You know what that means, don’t you? It means before they “kick the bucket”. Is that what life should be all about; kicking the bucket? I take that such a degrading way to talk about ending one’s life! I would prefer to talk about a “wish list”, and even better yet, a “pilgrimage wish list” of special places to encounter on God’s very special creation, Earth. Our pilgrimage encounter is rather then, a “drop in the bucket” of the bigger picture God has in store for us.

  • Dedie Thompson

    The other day when I got up my phone was frozen…wouldn’t clear the home screen…wouldn’t do anything! It had been fine the night before…hmmm. Of course my first reaction was irritation followed by frustration. Now I would need to make a trip to the store to check it out. Later that morning I did just that. The girl was able to fix it within 10 seconds, another hmmmm…but then she asked me a question which led to a long discussion where she was able to share heartfelt concerns about her son and the difficulties she was having raising a 6 yr old with multiple needs…something I had been living with for 40 years. AHA!!! We talked and shared contact information and right then I knew why my phone had been broken in the morning….but this morning’s video from Matthew gave me a better way of referring to it. I had simply called it a “Godincidence” but now I know we were both on a pilgrimage that morning.

    • Linda Carmelle

      Thank You for sharing your Godincidence! Your story will make many others rethink when similar situations happen to them.

  • Francesca Rehal

    When my husband was diagnosed with a terminal cancer, I remember us sitting on the front porch and discussing the “whys” of it. My husband knew in his heart that God had a purpose for this happening to him. And, his focus was never on himself. In fact, that was always how he was. But, amazingly, even after he was told this would not end well, he continued to focus on me and others. After he passed away, I continued to carry out that focus. I wanted to be strong like him and fight off the devil by continuing to look at it as a purpose from God. What does God want from me and what will God give me. This is what gives me the strength to continue in life. It is all about God!

  • Kim Bordelon

    I feel like I don’t take the time to just listen, Matthew said to hit me over the head I need more clarity. I’m a very visual person and If I can’t see it (with the exception of GOD) .I don’t know it exists I have a hard time believing .To see all the talents I supposedly have ,the path God wants for me ,the choices he wants me to make. I feel like I’m Going through a fog.Which way do I go? I can only pray he will give me a better insight each and every day to be ok with being a follower ,not to try to control my destiny.

  • Deborah Kuth

    Thank you for the week’s summary. I went back and listened to this reflection again because it really speaks to being present in the moment. It is a reminder I need over and over…well said and yes, I want to be a pilgrim.

  • Debbie Brush-Garcia

    That was the most powerful video and prayer that I have said this Lent. Thanks for sharing. Hugs to you all.

  • Pamela Saul Maulding

    Oh Lindsey, the same message said a thousand times but all I needed was it to be said the one day when I would hear it. Thank you. I needed to hear it today.

  • Linda Carmelle

    I realize we can be both pilgrims and tourists depending on the situation in the moment,I know its a struggle to overcome our tendancies of our human nature.God provides us the insight when the time is ripe to bring His plan to fruition.Of course we have to want the experience of being a Pilgrim vs a Tourist,but as we grow in faith life God will give us the desire too. God provides in His time awareness so we can have the opportunities to change.Pilgrims are in touch with their higher nature,tourists are usually letting their lower natures guide them.

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