Recently Joyce Rupp provided some useful words that get behind some of the sentiments given expression in the name of this blog and in it’s byline from TS.Eliot. I remember, in choosing both, a certain “pull”, an invitation, but also a sense of vagueness, the kind of lack of sight and knowing that can only be lived into. And, ten-years on, as I find myself slowly living into what I sensed but couldn’t articulate, I was struck by Rupp’s words, and more broadly by the spirituality of change, of endings and beginnings, and of the importance of journeys. Important too, for me, is the story of the Prodigal Son, and as I was reminded again recently that there are so many layers of meaning and significance in that story for me as well.
“… At every turn in the road a new illumining is needed
to find the way and a new kindling is needed to follow the way…”
- John S. Dunne
But, back to Joyce Rupp. She writes:
“…Home is the place we are always going to but never arrive… [Like the] pilgrim who never arrives, [we’re] always going home, sometimes not having any idea of which way to turn but knowing deep within that there is a goal awaiting and that it is well worth the journey with all its ups and downs, with all its helloes and goodbyes.
The tension that comes from this is that while we know that we are always going home, we must also be deeply rooted and involved in our present condition. We, like Jesus, must invest ourselves as totally as possible in loving others and in being loved by them. We must give ourselves to the human journey and not try to bypass it because it is in and through our humanness that we discover the beauty of the inner terrain. It is through this that we are transformed into who we are meant to be. It is through this that we unite with the heart of God…
… As we long for our heavenly homeland, as we yearn for a deep centre of peace in which to settle, we can feel within our spirits a groaning and an ache much like that if giving birth. For, as our pilgrim spirits mature, as they gestate and come into wholeness, they are filled with birth pangs, with the labour of letting go, with the struggle of new life, which has been forming in us. The groaning within is especially intense when we experience certain forms of loss and brokenness. Adult transitions, confusions about who they are (particularly at mid-life), loss of deep relationships, desert prayer and darkness, harsh encounters with our false self or sinfulness, the pain of giftedness or creativity, all of these changes and challenges create a deep groaning in the human spirit, a crying out of the soul as one goes deeper..." [continued here]