Being lost in Manhattan can be a terrifying experience. No idea where you are, no idea where to go, and no familiar faces to ask for directions. Might as well throw on a blindfold for good measure. And yet, if we ever find ourselves in this position, we usually make it out okay. We get where we’re going, no matter how long it may take us. One thing’s for sure though, we can’t do it on our own. We make use of every resource we have. Road maps, street signs, and friendly faces along the way all help us to reach our destination.
While we may not all have been lost in a big city, we’re certainly lost in a world of sin. There are wrong turns waiting for us around nearly every corner. False paths seem like the way we should go, but ultimately lead us further away from our destination, our heavenly home. You look around, and you can’t seem to find your way.
Fortunately, our God doesn’t leave us hanging. He doesn’t want to see us lost. So he gives us a map, some street signs, and, most importantly, some friendly faces to guide us on our way home.
First, the map. That would be the Scriptures. God gave us his inspired word, and, interpreted rightly, it can’t lead us astray. The words of Our Lord are always a light unto our path. Once you’ve got the map, you need to look for the street signs. Those would be your conscience. You know those pangs of guilt you feel as you stray from the path the map has shown you? They’re there for a reason. God wrote his law on your heart precisely for situations like this. Then, once you’ve got your bearings, ask for directions. The beauty of the Christian life is that we’ve got friends everywhere. Our friends here on earth can inspire us to holiness, and Holy Mother Church has given us examples of holiness in the saints, and, most importantly, we can look to the help of Our Lord himself in the sacraments. He sets us on our path in Baptism, rights our way in Confession, and sustains us in the Eucharist. So whether it’s an earthly friend, a heavenly one, or Our Lord himself, there is always someone ready to guide you on your way.
We’re on a journey home to God, but we’ve been born into a world of sin. That puts us at a serious disadvantage. We’re born with that blindfold, and after taking it off in Baptism, we can begin the journey home. It’s then that we get to work. Sure, we can try to get there on our own, but that’s a path that’s destined for trouble. But taking advantage of the gifts God has given us—the Scriptures, our conscience, our friends, and the sacraments—the path back to God gets a whole lot easier. And if we should stray again, there’s no need to despair, for the Way is always there, waiting for us to find him. After all, our Father in heaven wants nothing more than for us to make our way home.
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Br. Stephen Ruhl, O.P.
Br. Stephen Ruhl was born and raised on Long Island. He attended Providence College, graduating in 2015 with a degree in French. He entered the Order of Preachers shortly after graduation. On DominicanFriars.org