Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Journey Begins in the Footsteps of the Saints of France and Spain

On Pentecost, after Agnes and I stepped through our front door, we began a journey following in the footsteps of the Saints of France and Spain.   The reflections here concern the first part of this two part journey which we are doing with pilgrims from across the country who set out with us from the Shrine of Saint Anne in Arvada.  

I will share with you here at beginningtopray.com (in terms of personal reflections and reporting), discerninghearts.com (in terms of podcasts), my personal Facebook page (in terms of pictures) and at rcspiritualdiectiion.com (where I will submit portions of the presentations provided to the pilgrims).   The second part begins in Oviedo, Spain and while Agnes will travel by train I will go by foot in the steps of Saint Francis and Saint Ignatius, and I do not yet know whether it is possible to provide updates via blogging and social networks.   But we can cross that bridge when we come to it.   This first part begins in Paris and will follow the footsteps of the saints of France.

We have set out on this pilgrimage under very different circumstances than when we made our original plans.  A year ago, when we were praying about this journey, we were confident that we were in Northern Colorado for years to come.  We departed with a new realization that in this passing world we have no lasting home, that we are on a journey, a pilgrimage of faith to our Father's House. 

After 22 years working in the Archdiocese of Denver, Agnes and I are moving back to California.  About a month ago, I accepted a position in he Archdiocese of Los Angeles and we are selling our beautiful home.  By the middle of July, we will be moved to Los Angeles and I will be working for the seminaries there: Juan Diego House and Saint John's.

So it is in the middle of huge life transitions that we have undertaking this adventure.  But what an undreamed of grace to have this time set aside for The Lord.   For we are all on an adventure together - a pilgrimage is only a sign of this spiritual reality.

To attain to a spiritual place, we must go by a spiritual means. The place to which we journey is above this world, not geographically or spatially, but in power and glory.  Such a place cannot be grasped at by our cleverness or industry.   Progress to our heavenly homeland is the Lord's own gift and our work is to make space in our lives for this unimaginable grace.  

Progress to our true home is by faith in Christ Jesus.   He is the Way.   The only way to arrive at where He leads is by the Spirit whom He generously gives.

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