The holiness of spiritual journey

As the summer winds down and vacations wind down, people are back to the everyday grind, the everyday, “ordinariness” of life. We are also in the midst of the season of Pentecost, the “Ordinary Time” of our liturgical season. Do you need to leave home to experience the holy? The Washington Post’s “On Faith” column takes on the question of leaving home and going on pilgrimage to experience the holy. How does your spiritual tradition take on the practice of pilgrimage, of spiritual journey?

Eat, pray, travel?

From Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog

Eat, pray, travel?

In the memoir Eat, Pray, Love, writer Elizabeth Gilbert gives up her entire way of life to spend a year traveling the world, finding spiritual enlightenment along the way. Julia Roberts, who plays Gilbert’s character in the movie version out this week, apparently found enlightenment of her own through the role, revealing that she has become a practicing Hindu.

As Joan Ball asks in a Guest Voices post, “Is it possible to live a life of deep, transformational faith without dropping everything and hitting the road?”

In your tradition, what is the aim of the spiritual journey?

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Category : The Lead

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  1. The aim of the spiritual journey? “You speak in my heart and say, ‘Seek my face.’ Your face, adonai/LORD, will I seek.” (Psalm 27:11)

    Yes, it is possible to live a life of deep, transformational faith without dropping everything.

  2. Definitely – growing up by the ocean – almost daily. And also living in the mountains – or looking up at the stars at night. From what I can tell of Eat,Pray, etc – that was more a journey of self than a journey to God – priv-lit — as it is called in the reviews as well as orientalism.

  3. EH Culver

    Listening to the choral music of the sixteenth century does it for me every time.

  4. Check it out! Elizabeth Gilbert eats veal and lamb intestines, Oh, and she bought a fur hat, too. Martha Rosenberg, who is one smart lady, I think, spills the beans at

    Two paragraphs from Ms. Rosenberg’s fine essay:

    Gilbert knows all about Yoga, mantras, Brahmans, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zen, the Hopi Indians and Apollonius of Tyana; she’s down with St. Theresa, St. Francis, the Kabbalah and Sufism.

    But she was absent the day they taught Ahimsa–the doctrine of refraining from causing pain, injury or violence to any living thing. The doctrine that guides most spiritual leaders–and spiritual paths.

    Paz a tod@s, Craig

  5. tgflux

    IIRC, Julia was raised Roman Catholic (as was older brother/fellow actor Eric).

    These days, I honestly can’t begrudge ANY RC who leaves (for any other faith, or none).

    That said, my spiritual journey reaches a High {*} every time I participate in Eucharistic adoration (which, for ease of access, most often occurs in RC churches/chapels).

    {*} Individual High. Corporate High is still always w/ my TEC parish in Mass (currently, St. Michael’s, Carmichael CA).

    JC Fisher

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