Tuesday 29 January 2019

Why pilgrimage? - David Baldwin - CTS Christian Shrines Series

Why pilgrimage?
CTS Christian Shrines Series
David Baldwin
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784690779
eISBN 9781784693022
CTS Booklet D800

I have long had an interest in Pilgrimage with a particular passion for Santiago de Compostela. I have written about personal pilgrimage, and desire for pilgrimage previously. When I did my university degree, I did a course on ‘Sacred Spaces’ and another on ‘Faith Quests’ this little volume would have been excellent resource material for both of those courses. This is a great little read and serves as an excellent introduction and jumping off point to the CTS Christian Shrines Series. And David has written many of the book in the series. The sections in this volume are:

Why Pilgrimage?
Pilgrimage through the Ages
Three Principal Pilgrim Places
     The Holy Land and Jerusalem
     The Way of Saint James and Santiago de Compostela
Marian Shrines
     Walsingham “England’s Nazareth”
     Paris - Rue de Bac
     La Salette
     Ephesus - The House of The Virgin Mary
The Great Saints
Other Pilgrim Places

     The Sacred Heart of Jesus - Paray-le-Monial
     Our Lady of Graces and St Joseph - Cotignac
     Canterbury Cathedral
     Poland - Auschwitz and the Divine Mercy
     The Shroud of Turin
     Marthe Robin - Chateauneuf-de-Galaure:
     The Infant of Prague
     The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
Pilgrim Prayer
A Pilgrim’s Prayer
Further Reading

This volume begins with these words:

“Recent years have seen rising numbers of pilgrims of all faiths seeking out their holy places. Set in the context of today’s overburdened and fractured world, there seems to be a deep yearning and a restless desire to seek consolation, solace, healing, affirmation, peace, forgiveness, reassurance - whether through that encounter on the pilgrim journey, or at the destination, or both - that would bring about a sense of fulfillment and a deeper understanding of self.

This applies equally to the Christian pilgrim, as evidenced by the millions who go every year to those well known, cherished pilgrim destinations such as the Holy Land, Rome, Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, Santiago de Compostela. But there are many others less well known or locally popular places of pilgrimage - which, of course, are just as valid or appealing.

This small book is about pilgrimage. It aims to give insights, ideas and inspiration, with a view to setting you -or continuing you - on your pilgrim journeys!”

Even though it is a small booklet it is packed with information. It examines reasons for going on pilgrimage. How to prepare. Setting realistic expectations. And How to process the experience once you have returned home. It looks briefly at the history of pilgrimage and the renewed appeal. Then it looks at different pilgrimages. The pilgrim’s prayer composed by David Baldwin is a wonderful way to conclude this book.

This book would be a great read for anyone with a passing interest in pilgrimages. For those who wish to go on pilgrimage and want a broad overview. Or for those who are unlikely to travel and just want to know in knowledge of the pilgrimage sites and devotions.

The CTS Christian Shrines Series seems to have two main styles of books. Pilgrimage companions and books focusing on the message from the shrine. This book is from the second category. There are also numerous other books from CTS that could support your quest for knowledge on pilgrimages and Christian shrines. This was a great little read, and I look forward to exploring more in the Christian Shrines Series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Other Books in the CTS Christian Shrines Series:
Message of Assisi
Message of Fatima
Message of Guadalupe
Message of Walsingham
Santiago: Santiago de Compostela - The Pilgrim Way of St James

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