Father Simeon Daly, OSB - Finding Grace in the Moment: Stories and other Musings of an Aged Monk


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The Long Journey
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Sunday we had occasion to reflect on Elijah’s journey to Mt. Horeb as a model for our own journey. The journey of Moses across the Red Sea and through the desert for 40 years is a prototype of the spiritual journey. It tells many overlapping stories that we follow with our analogous eye that is with one eye on Moses and his story and the other eye on our own story. Today’s first reading helps us build a little on Sunday’s reflection.

Moses when he speaks to his people here is 120 years old. He has endured all the ups and downs of the passage from Egypt to the Promised Land. The high of their passage through the Red Sea and the subsequent destruction of Pharaoh’s army are followed by the low of the bitter complaining of the people over their lot—in passing. Now at the journey’s end, Moses has to hand over to another generation the thrill of ultimate victory. He will be able to enter the Promised Land. Ultimately that is not important. What is important is the unmitigated faith in the Lord who led him day after day. Told of his fate, he does not lose heart of reflect the slightest bitterness as he calls his people to follow Joshua. As John the Baptist will say later, Moses says now in other words: “He must increase; I must decrease.” There is calm peace in the prayer of Moses. Gone anxious care. What remains is absolute trust and confidence in God.

Within the many interweaving stories within our large story, there are many beginnings and endings. Under the influence of the Spirit, we do well to ponder the story of Moses, and emulate the detachment that he developed over a lifetime of saying “yes” to God.

Each day, each hour of each day, can make some small circle in our lives. Each day our coming into this space can be a small Mt. Horeb for us, a place where we encounter God. It is also the place where He dispenses the Bread that strengthens for the next stage in our journey. When the good Lord tells us we need go no farther, we, like Moses, detached, will be ready to let go. Until then—we journey on.
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