Hope is the Virtue of a Pilgrim

We are all on a pilgrimage. Knowing we are on a journey, knowing we are made for something greater, knowing there is a destination – this is the root of hope. Walking the Camino de Santiago last summer brought light to the words of a talk I recently heard: hope is the virtue of a pilgrim.

As I listened to reflections on hope, pilgrimage, and journeying, my mind was filled with memories of the time I lived these experiences in a very physical way. One particular recollection from my three weeks in Spain was overpowering: the destination.

interior-catedral-santiagoI remember it clearly. I remember the moment I was able to stand directly in front of the altar in the Cathedral of Santiago and fall to my knees. The hundreds of pilgrims that filled the Cathedral disappeared, the pain of worn and tired muscles dissipated, and the feet that had been sore for two weeks were forgotten history. Because at that moment, nothing else mattered.
Nothing else could possibly matter except the breath-taking beauty in front of my eyes, the knowledge that Jesus would be present on that magnificent altar very soon, and the realization that we had arrived. We had reached the destination. Continue reading