An Unnecessary Pilgrimage

Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us. Luke 1:78

The direction today was to sit in silence. This, coming after a period of morning restlessness. Ever have one of those days? 3:30 wake up call for no reason at all. No turning back the covers. You are desperate for sleep but wide awake. Could this be God calling? I have learned that most times, it is.

This type of restlessness is a spiritual one. Its form may appear secular- worrying about Christmas gifts, work, the one -thousand- things to- do -list, but it is not. This type of straight -out- of -the- bed -waking is to get our attention. So if you are having trouble going back to sleep, DON’T.

The Lord speaks to us in the unconscious silence of our hearts while we are sleeping if He cannot get our attention when we are awake

So this time, I did not ignore the call, I embraced it. Coffee in hand, day 5 of my Mary Undoer of Knots Novena, intertwined with a rosary. It was a spiritual cushion to prepare me for scripture reading and all that God had for me, and for all of you. The Holy Spirit was present. I am a vehicle. And I listened…

I heard the tapping of the keys reflecting the beating of my heart, and I thought, What reflects yours? Is it the crashing of the waves that you have not heard in awhile? The sounds of an early morning sunrise? A fast car?

Wherever your heart beats, that’s where God is

Because He made us for joy and in His presence there is peace. And His presence is everywhere. Silence can be active and not stale or stagnant. The humming of the refrigerator, your computer and then echoes of nothing. Lean into the crying of a baby or the wanting of a child. There is a deep silence there too, if you push in the inner self to find it.

And I longed for a pilgrimage in my soul, not realizing that I was already making one 

The word sunrise from today’s gospel reading comes from the Greek word  anatole which in turn comes from the word anatello- from ana meaning  “up, completing a process” and  tello “set out a goal, rise up after completing a necessary process; to fulfill a goal (reach its consummation).” I spent a good amount of time thinking about this pilgrimage, only to realize that God was making His Way internally. This pilgrimage, this journey was going on in my heart.

In this stage of life that I am in, it is difficult for me to travel. I have young children and a full time, very demanding job. I watch with envy as many of my friends travel to far away places- Dubai, The Holy Land and the Caribbean. I long to get away. But God is teaching me that my external longings should be turned inward. That the best, most sacred journeys are those that are done daily in my heart, in the early morning hours that I spend with Him, in the day- in -and- day- out 5 am holy hour I make dedicated only to Him. The sacrifice is rich and full of grace, and although some days I can’t feel Him or don’t see Him as clearly, I still continue the journey.

I realize that anatello is in my heart, and that my goal is heaven.

I am sure that many of you long to travel too. Some of you are also searching for God in faraway places. You don’t have to travel very far to find Him. He may just be at the very bottom of your coffee cup.





4 thoughts on “An Unnecessary Pilgrimage

  1. Have you read St. Bonaventure’s The Soul’s Journey into God? It’s scholastic, so there’s philosophy intertwined throughout the whole text but Bonaventure, being Franciscan, speaks about our souls recognizing the vestiges of God through his creatures. Of course, “the dawn breaking…” is a perfect example. When I meditate the joyful mysteries, I look at the sunrise, I see red, orange, yellow peaking over the horizon; I see the Annunciation. The sky begins to fill up with light and now blue,purple and gray set upon its fiery frame, I feel the joy of the Visitation. The Sun breaks over with its full beams over the horizon—the birth of our Lord! The Sun now well over the horizon is this like seeing the face of God like Simeon?

    Daylight; peace, joy, and awe—finding Him in the temple.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Melissa Zelniker-Presser

      I have not read it, but St. Bonaventure is my parish! Looks like I have some reading to do lol.
      I love that color imagery and the marriage of that to the joyful mysteries. Yes imagine Simeon and his great joy! I wonder why we don’t behold the face of God like that everyday. He is our beautiful sunrise…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, He is.

        I think the way is found through prayer. I have a prayer routine but I should pray more. But it was through prayer—praying the mystery—that I discovered God in the colors and light of the sunrise. And now, I can’t help but see Him there.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Merry Christmas: What did Luke in the Gospel Mean by “Inn”? – On the Pilgrim Road

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s