Navigating the Interior Life

In 04 Fr. John McCloskey on 2013/10/03 at 12:00 AM

How many times have you opened a book that promised to change your life, only to become disillusioned by the end of it (or long before!) upon finding that you did not understand it or agree with it or that you simply were not willing to exert the willpower necessary to follow the author’s advice on how to lose weight, improve your memory, speed read, or run for office and become the governor of your state?

The book you now hold in your hands is substantially different, but before I tell you why it might be helpful to share the vantage point from which I offer this observation. By God’s mercy and grace, I am a priest of 30 years and have had the great privilege of providing spiritual direction to souls ranging from a supreme court justice nominee, a United States senator, a prominent radio talk show host, priests and women religious of various orders, and good hardworking lay men and women. From where I stand there is nothing more important than the aggressive pursuit of progress in our relationship with God.

Why? Because death is inevitable. Billions of dollars are spent yearly and endlessly to cure diseases, push back the onset of mortal illness, and–in the case of diehard atheists–attempt to prolong life for thousands of years, anticipating a time when humankind will achieve immortality. Even a former President of the United States said, “I want unlimited scientific discovery and I want unlimited applications. We want to live forever and we are getting there” (William Jefferson Clinton).

But those of us who are sincere practicing Catholics know that our most important work in this life is to prepare ourselves for the next one, where we really will be immortal.

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