Journey is a multipurpose term and almost a cliché in Catholic spirituality. Our “spiritual journey” takes us from one place to another and another.
But maybe the single most important thing we can do if we want to grow spiritually is to stay in the place where we are, according to ???Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (pictured)?, author of The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture (Paraclete Press).
We Christians get excited about experiences and go places looking for the next spiritual high. We say God called us here, and then God calls us there. It’s all focused on little ‘lessons’ or ‘insights’ that we’re supposed to take with us to the next place.”
Add this to a culture and to economic realities that encourage mobility, travel and constant moving from place to place, from job to job, and it’s no wonder the “journey” language is so central to spirituality today.
“We idealize and aspire to a life on the move, spending what resources we have on acquiring skills that make us more ‘marketable,’ that is, more mobile,” Wilson-Hartgrove says.
The result is a sort of rootlessness and dissatisfaction at the heart of our spirituality.
Wilson-Hartgrove is cofounder of the Rutba House community and an associate minister at the historically black St John’s Baptist Church, and is engaged in peacemaking and reconciliation efforts in the Walltown neighborhood of Durham, North Carolina.
The Rutba House, where Jonathan lives with his wife, Leah, their son, JaiMichael, and 10 others, is a new evangelical monastic community that prays, eats and lives together, welcoming neighbors and the homeless.
“Stability seemed to make sense for our community, given the challenges we face in a racially mixed, impoverished area. It’s a commitment to trust God not in an ideal world, but in the battered and bruised world we know.”
Their community “stumbled into” stability, he said.
FULL STORY The practice of staying put (NCR Online)