Roman Catholics believe that our spiritual journey begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ. We are never alone on this journey - we find others who will walk with us, pray with us, and challenge us.
This site offers spiritual pilgrims a place to explore the way Catholics find Jesus in the Gospels, in the Community and in the Teachings & Traditions of the Catholic church. Interested pilgrims can also connect with local representatives who will support them on their continuing journey of faith.
The video will be changed weekly, so come back often - previous videos will be in the Archives, and in the "Commonly Asked Questions" section.
Enjoy your visit to the Spiritual Pilgrim!
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more videos on marriage. Click here to view the videos.
It was an ordinary week, yet each day I met Jesus.
On Monday Jesus was in the strength of the oncology patients receiving their treatments and placing their hopes on life.
On Tuesday Jesus was in the faith sharing of the RCIA candidates.
The next day, Jesus was in the slow start to my day and in the quiet reflection of where and how my life was going.
As I set out on a trip on Thursday, I found Jesus in the beauty and power of the Allegheny mountains, the wonder of the blue skies above and of the lovely valleys below.
On Friday Jesus was in my grandson's zest for life as he too was growing in "wisdom and grace".
On Saturday, I found Jesus in the serenity of the day, in the quiet moments when gardening, and in the smiles of neighbors and friends who happened by.
Then, on Sunday, the seventh day, I saw Jesus in the face of each communicant as they came forward to receive, and to be, the Body of Christ.
Yet I'm sure that Jesus is in so many other places. Where do you see Him?
"What Happens When I Die?"
"What Happens When I Die?"
by Jonathan Schott
by Jonathan Schott
At the upcoming Easter Vigil celebration, one of my very close friends will be received into the Catholic Church. His faith journey has had its ups and downs, and we have certainly had our share of great conversations along the way. What I find interesting about his faith journey, which has dealt with suffering, fear, sorrow, joy, and happiness, is that it all began with a simple question one afternoon in our college dorm room.
"What happens when we die?"
My first response was to say immediately, "How should I know? I'm sitting right here!" But after my humorous response I realized just how deep a question this is. It is a question with a complex answer; an answer that involves faith, theology, tradition, and ultimately, hope!
Death is something that all living things experience. It is something we all will experience, both personally - through our own deaths - but also in the death of our friends and loved ones throughout the course of our lives. The Catholic Church has always - for me - provided a great deal of solace and stability in understanding and coming to terms with the reality of death.
The Church teaches us that death is "part of the human condition." (CCC, 1009) That is, death is part of what it means to be fully human. And, just as Jesus, who is both fully human and fully divine participated in the human reality of death, our own participation in what it means to be fully human is participation in death. Death then, is really the culmination of our earthly lives.
We believe as Catholics that the fullness of our life does not end with our physical death. As the catechism teaches us, "despite his anguish as he faced death, he (Jesus) accepted it as an act of free and complete submission to his Father's will. The obedience of Jesus transformed the curse of death into a blessing." (CCC, 1009)
The blessing of earthly death is our hopeful entrance into and participation within the Kingdom of Heaven. We believe that on the day of our physical death, we will be judged "when God calls man to himself." (CCC, 1011) We believe that our soul, which departs from our body, awaits the resurrection of our physical bodies, just as Jesus demonstrated for the world by his Resurrection.
So what happens when we die? We depart earthly life, and begin life eternal in Jesus Christ. Our loved ones and friends gather and celebrate the end of our earthly lives in the feast of the Holy Mass. Physical death isn't an end, it's a beginning. In order to meet God, we must die. Although fear of death can be a struggle for many, we as Catholics believe that it is the beginning of eternal life with Christ.
As St. Therese of Lisieux simply stated, "I am not dying; I am entering life." (The Last Conversation)