We are pilgrims through our lives: pilgrims of the heart, the mind, the body and the spirit. We are always changing, transforming ourselves, seeking a goal, many times inadvertently. We are, sometimes, like sailboats which the wind pushes at its will, but there is always a goal patiently awaiting us, an inexorable destiny prepared by God It’s in the pilgrimage where we find happiness and peace. At the finish line, we obtain the prize for our efforts and can aspire to re-start. This is because our journey does not end with our death. In our death, with the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ, our pilgrimage for eternal and loving life in heaven begins. We come from God and to God we return.
In the seasons on earth, the fields are transformed, and when they seem to fade away, they are then renewed with vigor and agility as the new season takes hold. In every single one of the Stations of the Cross, Jesus left us a lesson, as if each one was a Season, an opportunity to be transformed and renewed. So strong was Jesus’ love that even during his martyrdom he thought about helping us. For even as he was dying on the cross, He asked God, the Father, to forgive us for our ignorance of the gravity of our sins and had compassion for the thief for manifesting his faith as he was crucified beside Him. He also gifted us with His pure Mother, so that she might mitigate our pilgrimages here on earth.
Knowing that in the Virgin Mary I can find a mother who is not only beautiful, but is also someone who is powerful in humility and love is a balm for my fears and insecurities. She mellows down the storms in my spirit. I then want to go as a pilgrim in the world sharing this light that I carry inside, evangelizing, with the certainty that our Mother of Heaven, Queen of the Apostles, lends me the grace of the Holy Spirit that lives within her soul, so I may reach my goals, no matter how threatening my station might be. With Mary in each one of the seasons of my heart, I have nothing to fear.
I have found pilgrimages to be a good way to connect with Our Blessed Mother. I am happy when I go on pilgrimages. It’s a great privilege to have been able to visit the sanctuaries of Lourdes and Fatima. Praying the rosary and singing along with other pilgrims by the Stations of the Cross as we remember Jesus’ life, fortifies my spirit. It reminds me that even though some stations are more difficult to confront, there will always be tranquility after the tempests.
One of the toughest tempests of my life was losing my daughter, Christy. Many people ask me how I can be happy after the death of my daughter. The answer is simple. If we are true Christians, we must accept without doubt the promises of Jesus Christ. Eternal life exists, and my goal is to reach it. I know in the depths of my heart that Christy reached it. I dream of encountering her again in eternal life. I believe in the promises of Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer. If that is the case, why suffer? I prefer the joy of thinking that God was so merciful with me, that he sent to our home a beautiful angel, who came to convert us, to make us look in the direction of God’s love, to pull us out from the dark winter of our lives, and propel us vigorously to the flowery Spring that only people thirsty for the love of their Creator can experience. Therefore, I continue my pilgrimage here on earth as a dreamer, a singer, and a poet of life, receiving the gift of each season as a present from God, feeling always grateful for the exquisite privilege to live a life surrounded by love.
In life, like Jesus, we will have strong trials, but carrying the yoke of Jesus on our shoulders and accepting it will truly make our crosses become lighter. Let us then accept the seasons in our lives, the unexpected changes, and the movement of the world, along with its fragility and its inconsistencies so we can live in the present with a solid and unbreakable faith.
Fernando Dangond, MD, was born in Colombia, South America. He and his wife, Monica, live in Weston, MA, and have been blessed with two sons Daniel and David and a beautiful daughter, Christina (the inspiration behind Build the Faith) who left to be with the Lord 5 years ago.
Dr. Dangond, is a neurologist and scientist who works for a pharmaceutical company developing medicines to treat devastating neurological diseases.