Reflections on the Teaching of Vatican II Through the Magisterium of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis
Thursday, December 10, 2015
More Barron: Blogger Comment
Wandering From God
At the beginning of Dante’s Divine Comedy, we find the line: “Midway on the journey of our life, I awoke to find myself alone and lost in a dark wood, having wandered from the straight path.” Again and again, in the spiritual tradition, the good life is described as a walking of the right path. The Prophet Isaiah asks, “Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways?” (Isaiah 63:17).
What this really means is that we are lost. Isn’t it terrible being lost? Think of the last time you were lost—I mean really lost—in your car or walking in a strange town. There is something uniquely sinking about that experience. You know where you wan to go, but you’ve totally lost a sense of how to get there. To be in sin is to have lost the way, lost the direction, lost sight of the stars and the other means of navigation. It is to walk all sorts of paths but not the right one.
In the same passage from Isaiah above, the prophet continues, “Why do you let us harden our hearts so that we fear you not?” (Isaiah 63:17). How often the Bible speaks of the “heart,” which means the core of the self, the deepest center of who we are, that place from which our thoughts and actions arise. God wants to penetrate our heart, so that he is the center of our souls.
Have our hearts become hardened, so that God cannot get in? Is there a deep resistance in us to grace?
When we have wandered from God, off the right path, we are alienated from him and we sense him as a challenge to our freedom and fulfillment.
This Advent, stop your wandering. Open your life to the will and purposes of God.
Blogger comment: You will always be correct and in the presence of God if you pay attention to conscience in the moment, and be generous in making the gift of yourself in that moment. As long as you are out of yourself, you are on the right road, the way.