Looking around, I see pilgrims of every age, shade, dimension, and personality. Flags erected on makeshift poles gently being guided back and forth, back and forth. Pilgrims from Cambodia, France, Australia, Mexico, Nigeria, Ireland, Bolivia, Chile, the US. Countless countries I had never even heard of. Every corner of the globe is gathered on the western edge of Kraków to welcome the Pope for World Youth Day 2016.
Little do all these pilgrims know, but on this night, Pope Francis is speaking directly to me.
"Talking story" is central to a pilgrimage. A pilgrim opens herself up for genuine, meaningful, and sacred encounters - conversations, if you will - with holy sites, with foreign peoples and cultures, and ultimately with the person of God.
This blog, "Verso L'Alto," will be a collection of stories on the pilgrimage of life. The stories will be real, raw, and authentic. The blog will feature the joys, challenges, triumphs, sorrows, sites, spectacles, intricacies, beauty, and even the mundane of pilgrimage. The hope is that through talking story we can all better recognize God alive and at work in the world today.