During these troubling times, sometimes a person feels overwhelmed and hopeless. Some ask, “what can I do? I’m just one person.”
Today every faithful Catholic faces overwhelming public immorality, abortion, lawlessness and hatred towards God and the Catholic faith. Such overwhelming attacks can tempt us to think any reaction won’t make any difference.
Some look for political solutions. While it is good to support political candidates who defend traditional values, they alone are not the answer. Politicians commonly cave under public pressure, even on the most critical issues of our day. As an example, try getting a politician to speak out publicly against same-sex “marriage.”
What other ways can we make a difference?
An easy action that anyone can do is hold a monthly Public Square Rosary Rally in one’s community. All it takes is a minimum of two people to hold a banner, a rosary and the prayer program. If more can participate, they can bring signs and an American flag.
However, another way to counter evil and obtain immense graces for our families and friends is going on a pilgrimage.
A pilgrimage consists of visiting a holy place to pray and petition Our Lord, Our Lady or a particular saint for much-needed graces. A pilgrimage involves sacrifice. We no longer have to walk hundreds or even thousands of miles as the pilgrims of old once did. We can drive to our selected place of pilgrimage. However, this less-demanding method still involves time, resources and energy. It demands the preparation of the souls of all involved to take maximum advantage of the pilgrimage.
Just about every state has pilgrimage sites, often within a few hours or a day’s drive.
We must find a holy place for our pilgrimage. Good examples include Catholic shrines, basilicas, churches, monasteries and convents. Within a day’s drive of this author, there are over a dozen locations for pilgrimages.
Going on a pilgrimage requires both spiritual and material planning. When we go on pilgrimage with our families, we should explain to family members where we are going and why. We can even note down the intentions of the pilgrimage, including both individual and family intentions.
Upon arrival, we should pray for our sanctification and all other private and public intentions. We should also offer reparation to Our Lord and Our Lady for our sins and those of the nation. We should pray for America’s conversion.
To facilitate matters, we must also arrange for food and shelter along the route.
With the proper spirit, we can be filled with piety and even emotion at our place of pilgrimage. Plan on spending as much time in prayer as possible. When spending many hours at the site, take breaks when needed.
Those on pilgrimage will likely experience palpable graces. Our Lord and Our Lady respond generously to our sacrifices, prayers and love.
The place of pilgrimage does not need to be a well-known site. One family decided to visit all the beautiful churches in their diocese each Sunday during Lent.
A little research will reveal that there are many places of pilgrimage available. Unless it is a well-known shrine, the site will sadly afford plenty of opportunities to pray in solitude.
Besides private prayer, we can also pray publicly as a group with family or friends. We can pray in reparation and response to the evils that surround us. It will make a difference in God’s good time!
On the way there, during a break or after your pilgrimage, hold a Public Square Rosary Rally or engage in a public protest or act of reparation. Such acts of public prayer will link us to current events.
A pilgrimage will do more good than all of the politicians put together. A pilgrimage moves God, Who is all Holy and all Powerful, to intervene. Our Lady will draw us closer under her maternal mantle. God and Our Lady particularly respond to the prayers of innocent children, who will especially benefit from pilgrimages.
By going on pilgrimages, our families will receive graces for the battles that await them at home. Sometimes the graces may not be immediately palpable, but they are working in the souls of all who participate. They will be preparing us for what lies ahead: a return to order and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.