Ordinary Time, 19th Sunday (A) I recently paddled down a whitewater section of the Wolf River. Among other things, I learned three important lessons that also apply to the spiritual life.

  1. Hug the rock. When you get stuck on a rock, you naturally try to push away from obstacle. Pushing away from the obstacle in a strong current will cause your boat to capsize -- and make things infinitely worse! Leaning towards the obstacle ("hugging the rock") keeps you safely above water until you can maneuver free.
    In a similar way, we often push away from life's obstacles, but trying push the problems away often makes things worse. Leaning into the problems helps us to resolve them and then move on.
  2. Look for the eddies. An eddy is a calm spot behind a rock or obstacle. You can pull your boat into these calm spots and catch your breath.
    In a similar way, we often need to step out of the rush into a quiet moment of prayer and reflection. Choose silence and God will find you there, like he met Elijah.
  3. Surf the waves. Right below the waterfalls, the current actually flows upstream. You can maneuver your boat into this spot and "surf" in the rushing current.
    There are crazy times in life when you just can't "eddy out" into silence. Jesus will come to meet you, and help you find calm in the midst of the storm.

(13 Aug 2023)

Going Deeper: Do you make time in your life to choose silence? What helps you keep your peace even in the midst of a storm?

Image © Fr. Joel Sember, Pilgrim Priest | Over 12 years of homily episodes available at PilgrimPriest.us/podcast | Like, subscribe, and share| Find me on Facebook and Twitter | Powered by Patrons | give through PayPal