Pilgrimage As An Example Of A Religious Practice
Search for Freedom
Freedom by definition is the power or right to speak out, act and to think independently. It is a powerful desire that is shared and belongs to everyone. There are many different understandings of freedom which each hold their meaning. There is “Personal Freedom” which relates to the inner quality, or the ability from within a person to make decisions, and then the external quality, which is the ability to act in the world freely, on one’s own account. There is also “Religious Freedom” which is defined as the idea that people have the right to participate freely in religious practices without opposition. Finally, there is “Secular Freedom” which is known as that all people have a fundamental worth and dignity, which is associated with basic freedoms such as freedom of speech. Catholics, however, have their own perspective of freedom.
Explain from the point of view of Christianity how people search for freedom:
Freedom, from a Catholic perspective, is viewed as the power invested inside every human-being to act or not to act, and to do this or to do that or to perform concise actions on one’s responsibility. Besides, Catholics also believe that freedom comes from God, who allows his followers to do good but people abuse that power and also abuse the freedom of others which leads to the “Slavery of Sin.” Freedom is a privilege and those who do good continue to do good which liberates them from evil. The Catholic Church presents the concept of freedom through its teachings: “Freedom is the power given by God and those who do good continue to do good, to act or not to act… Freedom also implies the possibility of choosing between good and evil.” (CCCC363). The Catholic perspective of doing good is related to “Natural Law”; a body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct. Its meaning from a Catholic perspective is that human beings are created in the image of God and knowing that we, therefore, reflect God’s goodness. This all links to pilgrimage because it is a practice promoted by the church because it assists them in their search for freedom.
Describe the nature of one religious belief, teaching, ritual or practice:
Pilgrimage is a journey undertaken for a religious motive or goal. Although few pilgrims have wandered continuously with no fixed destination, many pilgrims more commonly seek a specific site that has been sanctified by affiliation with a divinity or other holy personage.
“All of this embodies an almost surreal journey, a truly eye-opening and life-changing encounter, in this way becoming a metaphor for an inner journey of self-reliance and self-discovery.” (Scriven, 2012).
Outline how this religious belief, teaching, ritual or practice seeks to help people search for freedom:
Pilgrimage is known as a meaningful spiritual journey undertaken by someone or a group of people, in search of moral or spiritual significance, which promotes a religious focus. It is a trip that is made for religious meaning and is a practice that is known across a wide range of religions. As a religious practice, it involves a journey undertaken to promote an inner, spiritual journey that challenges and engages the pilgrims in a journey that can enrich or initiate a person’s faith. Catholics attach religious significance to particular places because they honour God and his presence. The reasons for making the journey are to receive spiritual healing, set aside time for God and become closer to him and to be inspired by the communion of saints who have gone before us. An example of a well-known pilgrimage is the ‘Santiago De Compostela’.
The ‘Santiago De Compostela’ or also known as the Camino Trail, is a pilgrimage that has originated since the 9th Century. It is a journey to the Spanish city which is known for being the resting place of Saint James, hence why another common name of the pilgrimage is the “Way of St. James.” Part of the ‘Santiago De Compostela’ is the ‘Camino Trail’ which is a large set of networks of ancient pilgrim routes which are stretched across Europe and connect at the end at the tomb of St. James. It is an example of a pilgrimage that assists in a person’s search for freedom.
Pilgrimage is an example of a religious practice that enables people to find freedom. It’s a spiritual journey commonly to a religious site, completed for religious reasons. It is an outward physical journey that is meant to mirror a deeper spiritual journey. It has been practiced since ancient times that has become more frequent and popular in recent years. In summary, it is a discovery of one’s self and their relationship with God found through community, reflection and sacrifice.
- · Bible society (1992). Good News Bible (Revised Edition). New South Wales. Bible Society.
- · Greenia, G (2010). The Way. London. College of William & Mary
- · Scriven, R (2012). http://liminalentwinings.com/characteristics-of-pilgrimage-2/
- · Pope Benedict XVI (1992). Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican. Vatican Press
- · Youssef, Y (2018). Voices of Youth. https://www.voicesofyouth.org/blog/what-are-freedom-and-liberty