The Journey Toward Jesus

Brother David Henley, Glenmary Vocation Director

August 2016

"‘Come,' says my heart, ‘seek his face';
your face, LORD, do I seek!"
—Psalm 27:8

Our lives are journeys, and for any journeys, we need to have destinations. Otherwise, they would be meaningless wanderings from place to place. As Catholics, our journeys do have a single destination: we are led by our faith toward Jesus Christ. Despite our faith, though, we still encounter uncertainties or fears during these journeys that may knock us off course for a time. Sometimes even those who appear to be our friends may lead us off the path, and temptations are always present. We find our direction through our prayer.

Glenmarians, like other religious priests and brothers, are not ones who have reached the destination. As St. Benedict said, "A monk is not one who has found God; he is one who seeks God for a lifetime." This means that our journeys are not completed once we decided to enter into a religious community. Instead, our fellow community members help us on our journeys, leading us to the love and peace of Christ. We have discerned that a life with promises of poverty, chastity, obedience and prayer is the best way to help us stay on our journeys.

By our promises as religious, we have committed ourselves publicly to our baptismal call to be disciples. We realize that these promises also commit us to sharing God's love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness with those we encounter during our journeys. We are able to share in this way only because we too have been recipients of God's love and mercy.

We could choose to ignore our call, but it will only make it more difficult to stay on the path leading us to our destination. We could focus on the times that we have failed, but this focus will make it too difficult for us to move ahead on our journeys. Family members and friends might believe we are fools for trying, and if we let them, they could prevent us from continuing.

Follow the signs that lead you to a peaceful decision. Read the Bible and reflect on how it directs you to a deep relationship with Christ. Trust in the saints, who are examples of how people can live out their call. Seek counsel from a priest or brother, and ask him how he has discerned what direction to go. Turn your failures, problems and excuses over to God through prayer. Seek mercy and forgiveness and, by doing so, recognize with gratitude how much God loves you. Believe that you, too, have gifts to share with the people of God living in Mission Land, USA.

Come and see, through a visit to Glenmary and the missions, the path that will lead you to Jesus.

Read previous columns by Brother David.