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"Pilgrimages are a waste of time - it would be better to spend this time and money helping others."

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Introduction

"Pilgrimages are a waste of time - it would be better to spend this time and money helping others." The great religions of the world have one or more places of pilgrimage. Christians visit places of major value and historic relevance to their beliefs, such as the Holy Land where Jesus lived and preached, or shrines of saints, or where people claim to have had visions and experienced miracles, like Lourdes where St. Bernadette saw a number of visions of the Virgin Mary, and where she dug a spring with miraculous healing powers. Although many people feel that pilgrimage is very beneficial, others take a different view. Many pilgrims go on their journeys to show devotion to God and to establish their faith further. However, others feel that their faith should be strong enough that these pilgrimage experiences are unnecessary. They may also feel that there is no need to travel to become closer to God, as God is present everywhere in their everyday lives. ...read more.

Middle

It also gives people a chance to provide inspiration for other pilgrims, and give them the hope and encouragement to endeavour to feel closer to God. However, other people feel that it is a waste of a significant amount of money, one example being that a trip to Lourdes can cost around four hundred pounds. Such money could be better spent on charities to help projects such as improving medical help and famine relief. Also, many young people pay to go to Lourdes to help them feel closer to God through caring for others, and also to give them spiritual discipline. But they could also help in a local nursing home every week; this should be just as rewarding as in Lourdes, as it is basically the same thing in a different place. As well as improving a relationship with God, some people feel that pilgrimage helps them in their search for God and how significant faith can be in their lives, and to discover different ways in which God's love can be shown to them and how they can experience this. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand, some people feel that pilgrimage exploits their faith and commercialises places of religious significance in their lives. This could happen through places selling "tacky" souvenirs. At certain locations there is a great possibility of the creation of segregation and increased tension between people of different beliefs, such as in Jerusalem where Jews, Muslims and Christians consider it to be their place of worship and not the others', resulting in vast wars. People also disagree with pilgrimage because pilgrims may not appreciate the real value, such as treating the pilgrimage as a simple solution to their lack of faith, and to keep a reputation so as not to be referred to as "second class citizens" if they do not go. Having examined both viewpoints, I disagree with the statement and feel that pilgrimage can play a relevant part in a person's journey of faith. However, I also feel that it is up to the person involved what they think is right or wrong. Pilgrimage is made for spiritual reasons, and may help pilgrims to become more spiritually fulfilled in their lives. Steph Birnage 10L Pilgrimage Coursework AO3 ...read more.

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