A Catholic Monthly Magazine

The Journey Within

by Fr John Allardyce sm

The most difficult road will be the journey inwards, towards the centre of one’s person.

There is a natural reluctance to peer into what lies deep within us. This is compounded by the noise and diversion of modern living, which leave little enthusiasm or energy for this journey of the soul.

God loves us too much to allow us to remain in any one place for too long, or to find our total security in any person or thing, other than God. We are on a greater journey and we have responsibility not just for our own soul but for the spiritual growth of others, as well.

The journey inwards begins with God leading us deeper into our true self. A desire is lit in us by the Holy Spirit, who lives down there in the deepest place.

This desire is for something, Someone, who can meet our needs more fully than any other lover, family or friend.

This does not mean that God competes for our love. It means that we must come to see all others in the light of the Great Lover. His image is seen in those dear and important to us, for they are an expression of Him.

Christ draws us along this inner path. Usually he prepares us through some trial, deprivation, or failure. In a sense these are a gift of God, though at the time, they may appear to be quite the contrary.

The journey inwards is also the discovery of our own poverty: our frailty, limitations, dependence, unworthiness, need, failure.

This poverty gives birth to hunger and thirst for Jesus as Saviour, our very own ‘Emmanuel,’ God with us. Christ alone can liberate us from whatever is contrary to our own true good and the good of others.

Above all, this journey will reveal how deeply God loves us.

That he wants nothing but the greatest blessing for us – not for any merit or lack of it on our part, but solely for who we are. This is unconditional love, the discovery of which both burns and delights us.

God has a great hope that we will find our true self and our own deepest happiness. ‘I have come so you may have life and have it to the fullest!’ He reminds us that we find God and our truest self only by dying to ourselves.

The key to this discovery is love, the love which brings surrender to God, allowing him to love us and to love others, through us.

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