“This Is the Way; Walk In It.”: Finding the Right Path

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Isaiah 30:21

“The life Francis committed to God wasn’t about doing more. It was about dying more.”
“God’s Fool” movie (2020) trailer

While I am privileged and humbled to be part of the faculty of a College that traces its roots back to the time of St. Benedict, my education, my “learning” has also been touched by Dominicans, the Holy Cross fathers, and, especially, by the Franciscans.

My wife is a nursing diplomate graduate of what is now OSF-St. Francis Medical Center. Later, when she joined the administrative team, she completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Health Administration at the University of St. Francis in suburban Chicago. We have kept in contact with the Sisters who are still alive and engaged in health care. I experienced humility, joy, prayer, and faith in service, exemplified in a teaching from St. Francis:
“True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice.”

When you’re able, watch the movie, “God’s Fool”. The title is how Francis identified himself, and it comes up in the story, in different ways. Basically, the film is about the transformation of a young man, who has all he wants, to excess, but, through a chance encounter, finds he needs so much more and begins his trip down that most difficult path.

I stop here with the narrative. It is more than a “religious” film. The end is a most personal statement, and not a “happy” one; the end is the beginning.

I sat and pondered this through the closing credits.

We have lived, and continue to live through a worldwide medical emergency that has shaken us to the core. We can’t buy our way out of the pandemic. We can’t bully our way out of the pandemic. We can’t “make a bargain with God” to avoid the pandemic.  We work, and we pray that our human abilities, errors, and humility will lead to some sort of manageable solution. Ideally, we “listen” with the ear of our heart, as Benedict reminds us in the Prologue to The Rule. We present ourselves to each other each day as failed human beings with the desire to know what God wants of us.

He’s speaking, all the time. We just have to have faith, and listen, to stay on the right path.

Michael Throop