Summing Up . . .
Rooted in Christ: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believe in him may not die but have eternal life." John 3:16. The vertical axis of the cross reminds us of God's desire to be in relationship with his people going back to the covenant with Abraham. In the mystery of the incarnation and the resurrection, we encounter God's love made flesh for all eternity. As St. Athanasius said more than 1500 years ago: Christ became man so that man might become God.
The horizontal axis of the cross calls us beyond selfishness to personal conversion and a life in communion with our brothers and sisters. "We love because God loved us first. We cannot love God, whom we cannot see, if we do not love our brothers and sisters, whom we have seen." 1John 4:20
Radiating to Eternity: The life that we live now ripples through time and eternity. Faith and knowledge must complement each other if we are to live in truth. Morality, what it takes to live a good life, and discipline, the cost of real freedom, express our commitment to the truth of Christ in our daily life: "He who said 'I am the way,' shapes us anew in his own image." St. Gregory of Nyssa; "All the way to heaven is heaven, for he said 'I am the way.'" St. Therese of Lisieux
Before heading home to the US, we "kidnapped" Bishop Chris for some forced relaxation at Palm Cove in far northern Queensland, Australia. Since everything is reversed in Australia, people go north in July to escape the winter!
Rest and relaxation, time to share both prayer and good food, and some quality family time for the Cardone brothers made our few days in this beautiful place worthwhile in so many ways.
The adventure is over. The bags are unpacked. Yet so many memories and impressions linger from the wonderful experience of the past seven weeks. We hope that you have enjoyed sharing them with us, and we thank you for your support and prayers.
How do we bring it all to a conclusion? I think that these words from the Jesuit theologian Teilhard de Chardin that I discovered while reading one rainy afternoon in Uhu put things in the right perspective for all of us on the value of "Solomon time:"
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We would like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability-- and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature gradually-- let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undo haste. Don't try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.
Only God can say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
May the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit be glorified in all places through the Immaculate Virgin Mary!
May all our journeys bring us closer to to the Lord and to each other. Thanks for taking to the road with us. Blessings on your own journeys.
Fr. Tom & Bro. Tim