God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Make A Daily Pilgrimage


Croagh Patrick (Irish: Cruach Phádraig, meaning "(Saint) Patrick's Mountain"), is a 2,507 foot mountain and an important site of pilgrimage in County Mayo in Ireland.  Via Wikipedia

Croagh Patrick (Irish: Cruach Phádraig, meaning “(Saint) Patrick’s Mountain”), is a 2,507 foot mountain and an important site of pilgrimage in County Mayo in Ireland. Via Wikipedia

On this last Sunday in July, thousands of Irish people, of all ages, are making an annual pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick, a mountain shrine in western Ireland.  On this July weekend, great streams of pilgrims will be climbing the steep path, strewn with loose rocks, to the top, some 2,500 feet above sea level.  There will be no laughing or shouting, but rather a holy silence as the climbers pray for their special needs to the Lord through the intercession of St. Patrick.  According to the story, Patrick spent some days in prayer on top of this mountain before he went on to convert the Irish people to Christianity around the year 400 A.D.

I remember many years ago trying to reach the summit of Croagh Patrick.  Again and again I fell because of the loose stones and gravel on the pathway.  The steepness of the path took my breath away, forcing me to rest and ease my pounding heart.  Finally, I had to stop completely three quarters of the way up the mountain.  Though disappointed, I felt I had spent a rewarding afternoon.  In a true sense, I had reached out for God and had tried to bring This Divine Invisible Person into my life at the cost of much personal effort on the rocky slopes of Croagh Patrick.

Some impressions stayed with me from that afternoon on the hillsides of this holy mountain.  As I ascended higher and higher, I came to have a better view of the countryside of County Mayo (my mother’s birthplace).  I saw features of the landscape that I would never have seen if I stayed at ground level.  The air grew fresher, more exhilarating and made my heart beat faster.  My heart sang a song of joy because this effort to climb the holy mountain gave me an assurance that I was trying to reach out for the Lord.

Reach for the Lord!  Be conscious of the hunger in our hearts for a closer union with Christ.  Be a pilgrim, not necessarily by climbing a mountain, but rather in the ordinary travels of the day.  Speak out our hopes and visions from our heart: “Lord, I wish to know You better and love You more!”  When we speak like that, we are truly scaling the heights for a better view of God.  Our vision of life changes as we see life and its happenings in a clearer way.  Life takes on a new excitement!  Suddenly we find ourselves singing!

On this last Sunday in July, at Croagh Patrick, among the 30,000 pilgrim climbers, many will change their lifestyles for the better.  Be among them!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

July 26, 2014 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. Beautiful story Father George. I have been to Croagh Patrick, but have never climbed very far, mostly due to weather and time. Maybe next time I’m in Ireland. Thanks for sharing.
    p.s. My father’s birthplace – Castlebar, Co. Mayo
    Kathy Kearney Graham

    Comment by Anonymous | July 26, 2014 | Reply

  2. Thank you for these comforting words. I find that when I try something for Lent or Advent or some other special prayer if I do not complete it I feel I have failed. I forget or don’t notice what I have gained or learned by trying. God Bless you Father.

    Comment by Pamela tegel | July 26, 2014 | Reply

  3. “Lord I wish to know You better and love You more!” What a prayer to whisper every day of our lives!
    …we can “climb” into His Heart and regain our strength for the journey!!! Thank you forever Fr. George for your incredible gift of words that inspire us always! Shall be thinking of the 30,000 tomorrow and “climbing” with them! God Bless and Love you! marianne

    Comment by mcs | July 26, 2014 | Reply

  4. A new and beautiful prayer and view of our life in faith. Thank you and God Bless you always, Father George

    Comment by Nan B | July 26, 2014 | Reply

  5. […] Make A Daily Pilgrimage […]

    Pingback by euzicasa | July 27, 2014 | Reply

  6. Once again so inspiring, thank you for being Gods light. D. Hurley

    Comment by Anonymous | July 27, 2014 | Reply

  7. Hi Fr. George! Catching up on your posts – it has been a busy week with work and getting the house ready for Linda’s visit. Our dog also had her 2nd major knee surgery. It is as close to a human’s total knee replacement without using actual hardware! She’s so resilient, though, and doing quite well. Now the challenge is to not let her do TOO much – quite different from people who usually need to be pushed to do more physical therapy!

    What a beautiful post – I love the analogy of the mountain climb to the spiritual climb of reaching out to the Lord. You are such a master with words! I think this is one of my favorites! The climb and how it changes your perspective… it is similar to traveling – if we always stay in the same place, we have such a narrow view of the world. Not all have the means to travel, but even learning about other cultures and religions via the Internet (a reputable source, not a biased source that is meant to bring up fear!) can assist one to view the world from another perspective! I know people who have grown up and lived their adult lives in the same area and vacation maybe an 8-hour drive away. Very narrow-minded! Thanks again for always have a magical way with very sage advice! Love you! Love, Nancy

    Comment by nancywest22 | August 3, 2014 | Reply


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