Have you heard the phrase, “Let go and let God?” It is a trite expression, often difficult to follow. Many of us struggle to trust God with every aspect of our lives: our career, health, family situations, and the future in general.
Pilgrim Center of Hope was founded on this idea: That Jesus calls us to follow Him! Over the years, we have seen many people who participate in this ministry grow to a deeper awareness of what it means to follow Jesus, trusting Him with their life. One such person is Jack Moynihan, who shared some of his story with us:
I certainly went to Sunday Mass, but I didn’t have the depth of faith and devotion to Christ and his Mother that I do now. My whole attitude was that I wanted to be in control. Basically, I’ve spent my life doing just that! I would conclude what I wanted to do, and then move forward to accomplish that.
In 2013, Jack made a journey of faith with us to the Holy Land.
My most treasured recollection of my Holy Land pilgrimage was at the Mount of Beatitudes. It’s a very peaceful place, and probably not much different than it was from the time of Christ. It’s a little hill, and then you look down to the Sea of Galilee. I was fortunate enough to see it at sunrise and at sunset. It was a beautiful experience for me; spiritually enriching to be there and witness the scene that Christ would have seen at his time and what he looked out upon.
At the place of Christ’s death, we were able to place our hand at the site of the Crucifixion. We could see the stones that had been moved by the earthquake. We could see the coming together of the Truth of the Gospel with what we were observing as people, firsthand. That was extremely powerful.
The Gospels that we read every Sunday became more meaningful, because we were actually there.
The Holy Land pilgrimage started me, personally, on a deeper relationship with Christ. Now, I realize that I have to put myself at the disposal of God; I have to do what He wills me to do, and not what I will to do. It’s a complete change in emphasis. That was a gradual process, and it was assisted by each of the pilgrimages.
What was key to Jack’s conversion, so that he learned about trusting God entirely?
- Prayer – United together, our preparation for each pilgrimage and our daily activities on pilgrimage, begin with prayer. Prayer opens us to allow God’s work within us.
- An Act of Faith – Going on a pilgrimage is an act of faith. We are entering into a new experience in a new place, with a new group of brothers and sisters in Christ, journeying to sacred places with the faith that we will encounter God and his grace through this experience.
In 1998, Pope John Paul II promulgated a document offering this reminder about the first pilgrim: “By leaving his country, his family and his father’s house, Abraham goes with trust and hope towards the horizon that the Lord indicated, as the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us: ‘It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the call to set out for a country that was the inheritance given to him and his descendants.'”
Each day of our lives can be a pilgrimage toward eternal life. What act of faith will you make today?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to trust you more. I open myself to your Holy Spirit. Help me to listen to your voice and follow you in my daily activities. Open my heart to find you in the people around me. Give me a spirit of prayer. Help me to act in faith today. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
> Upcoming Pilgrimage – Join us in an opportunity for conversion in the Holy Land, August 7-17, 2017. Just a few spots remain! Learn More.