Our pilgrimage preparations have included:Self-denial: Money doesn’t save itself. We’ve had fewer meals out (which is something we do too much of anyway); grocery-store ice pops rather than a trip to the ice-cream stand; fewer stays at hotels for weekend trips; and other than one weekend away each year since 2015, we haven’t gone on an actual vacation. Making Good Time: Three weeks sounds like a lot of time, but when you’re visiting four different countries, time is at a premium like never before. Leaving Behind: Who will take care of our house while we’re gone? Our dogs? Our guinea pigs? We’ve had to humble ourselves and ask people to help us make this trip. Toughening Up: We’re going to be doing a lot of walking. I mean, a lot of walking. I started a couch-to-walking-race plan in May, and I’m finally at the point where I can walk three solid miles over hilly terrain without curling up in a ball on the side of the road. Understanding … and Being Understood: I used to be proficient in French. See the emphasis on “used to”? I’ve been using DuoLingo since December to brush up, and I’ve since added listening practice to a French 24/7 news channel. I’m still not confident I’ll be able to argue with the car rental agent in Marseille, but what is a pilgrimage if not equal helpings of planning and trusting God’s providence? Praying: At the end of our Family Rosary each night, we now close with “Pray for us,” after invoking, “Our Lady of Walsingham,” “Our Lady of Lourdes,” and “Our Lady of Knock.” We are totally in her hands — car rentals and all. Pilgrimages have long been part of our faith heritage, in no small part because they are large metaphors for our earthly exile: we must deny ourselves, not waste our time, be willing to let go of our everyday comforts. We must both plan and trust. And all our preparations have really made me experience a kind of one-ness with our ancestors who did this sort of thing without air travel or AirBnB.It’s all a journey of faith. Would you like to come along with us? I hope to do some vlogging and ‘gramming of the experience. We’re taking a list of prayer intentions along with us. If you want to add yours to our list, please add it here. Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
What are some adventures you dream of taking on your faith journey? Do you have any advice for Erin and her family from your own past travels?
Copyright 2018 Erin McCole Cupp
About the Author
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. She's working with Our Sunday Visitor on a book about parenting spirituality for survivors of family abuse and dysfunction. Find out more about her novels and other projects at ErinMcColeCupp.com.