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Monday, January 7, 2008

The Adventure - returning by another way

The post below was written by Fr. Tighe, a Priest of the Diocese of Raleigh, for his Eucharistic Adoration blog. He will join 14 other Priests of the Diocese tomorrow in training to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. My prayers are with them all.

I was always amazed at my parent's ability to be open for adventure. As I look back on them and the sacrifices they made for us, their children, I am amazed at the joy they kept in the midst of change. Their whole life was an adventure. In the Gospel reading at Epiphany, we learn that the Magi "having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, departed for their country by another way". Saint John of the Cross, 15th Century Mystic, Priest and Doctor of the Church says that to "go to the place that you are not, you must go by the way in which you know not". As I contemplate the mystery of God's call in my life it is abundantly clear that we must, as Catholics, always have our sandals on, our staff in our hand and be ready like a people in flight. The task is not always one of physical movement, like moving from Cary, Bolivia, Clinton, Rocky Mount or Wake Forest, no, it is one that demands the movement of the heart. God gives us the opportunity for daily conversion when we enter into prayer. It is there in prayer with him, that we learn how to move by way of the heart. It is in prayer that we actually receive new hearts that allow us to love courageously. From the Prophet Ezekiel we learn of what God desires to give us: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh".

The Magi returned to their country by another way which indicates that the destination had not changed but their route had indeed changed. As I head out tomorrow to learn Latin, I know that the destination remains the same but I go by a way in which I know not. St. Thomas expressed the same sentiments to Jesus. "Lord how can we know the way?". Jesus replied, "I am the way, the truth and the life". Like my parents, I too love an adventure. What an adventure it is to follow Christ.

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