Today, we Jesuits started the novena as preparation for the feast of St Ignatius. Here in our community, we reflected on the theme ‘Ignatius a pilgrim’. He calls himself a pilgrim many a times in his writings. His life was a great pilgrimage from an earthly King’s knight to the a knight of Jesus Christ.
India has a rich tradition of pilgrimage. It is done by people of all religious faith and why they do, differs for different people. Recently we heard about the Hindu pilgrims going for the Amarnath pilgrimage despite security threats and all the other risks involved. People prepare a lot before undertake some pilgrimages. They undertake pilgrimages for a special offer or as thanksgiving or as a routine ritual; some even undertake with the purpose of greater communion or union with God.
The pilgrimage as I understand (surely inspired by Ignatian tradition and well articulated by today’s sermon) has 3 dimensions…
- Pilgrimage into the heart of God
- Pilgrimage into the heart of self
- Pilgrimage into the heart of the world (which includes entire creation)
When I visualize my life as a pilgrimage, it involves these three dimensions. Nothing can’t be excluded from it. Atleast as I understand, my salvation is intimately connected to the salvation of others and entire cosmos is connected to me. A journey into God and self is an also journey to the creation. Thus relationship with all God, self and creation are intimately connected and the life’s pilgrimage is an attempt to grow in all of them.