Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Are We Coming or Going?

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Are We Coming or Going?

Article excerpt

We are sent on mission because of our deep experience of God. We are not sent on mission because of our resumes, our credentials, our experience or our careers. Mission is not about professionalism. Mission is about reconciliation, crying out for justice, standing with the powerless in word and witness. ...

When we are on mission, when we go home to otherness, we find the experience to be shattering rather than soothing. All that we thought was the meaning of home, its secure, stable, convenient, comfortable environment, is challenged, as are our unquestioned certainties. ...

Mystics ... are often described as strange, different and otherworldly. It would be rare, wouldn't it, to hear "mystic" given as a response to the overly familiar question, "What do you do?" ... Assuredly that conversation would not last long. Mystics, those who know the unknown, are too holy to be invited over for pizza and beer.

And yet they are welcome companions in our chapels and our libraries. How often we Invite them to be part of silent contemplative prayer. Mystics teach us so much. Mystics teach us how to come home. ...

The world began with a word. That is how poets and mystics begin to remember. As we remember, we draw closer to the tender wisdom we call understanding. We are silent. We stop using so many words. We sit, oh so still, and let God look at us. And we are almost home. The longing to be home becomes the poem we have yet to write, the homily we have never heard. …

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