From the great basilicas to small convents tucked away in cobbled alleys, Rome is filled with houses of prayer. In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds people that churches are for prayer and for the work of his father. Pilgrims have to make a choice today among some of the most beautiful houses of prayer in the churches of Santa Maria in Trastevere, San Clemente, Sant’Agnese, San Clemente and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. A second outing will be to the Benedictine Monastery of Subiaco, where St. Benedict, founder of Western monasticism established his first monastery and nearby, his sister, Scholastica, a convent. It was Benedict and the life he established for his monks that has given us the great prayer of Lectio Divina. A third group will explore a very different place of prayer, the Roman catacombs, where families would gather at the burial spots of loved ones for prayer and to share a meal.
Read: Luke 19: 45-48
Reflect Pope Benedict XVI in reflecting on the place of pilgrimage in the life of a Christian said “it is also true that faith, according to its essence, is being a pilgrim…Faith is being a pilgrim above all interiorly, but it must also express itself exteriorly….
Although an interior spirit of pilgrimage is appropriate at all times, the Pope described how actually traveling to a holy site can draw out and enhance that interior spirit.”
He teaches us that by “leaving behind the everyday, the world of the useful, of practical goals […] to be truly on the path to transcendence”, the faithful can find “a new freedom, a time of interior rethinking, of identifying oneself” that enables us to see God more clearly.
Respond: Join our school children who will be wearing red today in honor of Cardinal-designate Wuerl and make a visit to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament at your parish or another that is on your route today.
Please take a look at the pilgrimage photos