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March 8, Thursday

Return from Rome

 Safe travels, everyone! Arrivederci, Roma!


On pilgrimage
If there is not a little discomfort, you probably have not left home

The displacement of travel gives us the freedom to muse... Travel without pauses is like a musical piece with the notes crammed breathlessly together, like poetry without meter, form or punctuation. It is the spaces in between--watching the planes take off at the airport, swatting mosquitoes in the village, driving through long stretches of Midwestern farmland--where ideas can simmer without deadline. Something similar happens when praying the rosary or in the liturgy. The repetitions and silences give God the space to speak.
Of course, airport chairs are uncomfortable, unanticipated delays are boring, and Iowa really does go on forever. But if there is not a little discomfort, you probably have not left home. It is not an accident St. Ignatius Loyola instructed that his novices be tested by pilgrimage. If anyone appreciated the value of discomfort to stretch, humble and change us, it was Ignatius.
So I reach again for the Imodium; I sew a button back on my only pair of clean pants with dental floss; I bumble to communicate in a language not my own. I stop and ask for directions. And I laugh because I have driven 60 miles in the wrong direction, but the sign ahead says Peoria.

Anthony R. Lusvardi, SJ

Read the whole reflection at America Magazine



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804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303