“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb 11:13).
THE PILGRIM always seeks some place of joy, consolation, splendour, yet before he reaches his destination there’s an unsettledness, an uncomfortability. He’s a stranger. Though he may find places of rest along the road, he’s dependent on his host and so, like Christ, he has “nowhere to lay his head.” As he crosses foreign lands, he’s bound to feel out of place; in hostile territory he is rejected.
And so it is with the Christian. Just as our fathers in faith from the Old Testament, we are pilgrims on the earth in search of our heavenly home. So long as we eschew the values of the world, we are going to feel uncomfortable, out of place, even rejected. But, as Christ tells us, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me first” (John 15:18).
The feeling might not have been quite as pronounced in the West in years past, but, as our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has warned and as we’ve all encountered, those areas once known as Christendom are now facing an “eclipse of God,” a rapid secularization and enmity towards authentic faith.
The inevitable consequence is persecution. Of course, we’ve not yet reached an age of martyrs, but the lines of the culture war are being drawn more clearly.
The times we live in demand that we gird ourselves for spiritual battle. We must be prepared to protect our families from the spiritual forces seeking to invade our homes, placing ourselves under the mantle of Our Lady. With the culture around us in seeming collapse and the Church devastated by scandal, apostasy, and indifference, we need a strong domestic Church; in fact, we need strong communions of domestic Churches to support each other in handing on the Faith and our Catholic patrimony with full authenticity.
In this Year of Faith and in his entire project of the New Evangelization, the Holy Father is calling us to restore the culture to Christ. And this is precisely the purpose for which I’ve launched this blog. For, though the pilgrim looks ahead to some distant land of hope, what would the pilgrimage be if he did not make good and holy use of the journey, if he were not a beacon of light in the darkness of a hostile land, if he did not hope to make some little witness to those he meets on the road?
If we take the task of Christian Culture seriously, we have a long and arduous journey ahead, and I make no claims to be able to equip or even guide my fellow wayfarers along the road. Consider this humble blog as the occasional musings of a fellow traveller. They are at least offered, I sincerely hope and pray, in the light of faith and reason and according to the perceived promptings of the Spirit.
So with that, I welcome you to Pilgrim’s Journal.
We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.