Jan 11, 2010

Christi Peregrini ~ Pilgrim for Christ

©Cindy Thomson
I usually like to talk about this topic on St. Brendan's Day (which is in May), but I've been thinking about it lately so I thought it would be a good topic to blog about.

Yesterday my pastor spoke about Missio Dei during his sermon. (All these Latin words!!) It's basically about seeking God, looking for what he's doing in the world, and following Him there, instead of asking him to bless what you want to do or what you're already doing.

The two concepts, Christi Peregrini and Missio Dei, may not be interchangeable, but they certainly are related, in my understanding. I'm not a theologian, so keep that in mind!

The ancient Celtic Christians, particularly the monks, sought out what is referred to as white martyrdom--or in Ireland, green martyrdom. White martyrdom is dedicating your life and will to God without losing it for His sake, which is red martyrdom. The desert fathers, whom the Celtic monks modeled, used to wander to the desert to deny themselves and put themselves totally in God's hands. In Ireland, there is no desert (white) but there is plenty of green! They would embark on this journey in the loneliest of places (like Skellig Michael) or simply launch themselves off into the ocean in hide-covered boats, going wherever God would take them.

What's fascinating to me is that often what God had in mind was not isolation. Others would find hermits and want to be taught, and great monastery schools were born. That was fine with the monks. After all, they had agreed to go WHEREVER God led them.

Some, like Brendan the Navigator, went on wondrous journeys just to finish right where they started. The point was not the destination or outcome. The point was the journey itself.

So, after hearing about the theological concept of Missio Dei, I began to think about my own journey. Like my pastor said, we often say we'll follow where God leads, but we want to know where we are going. Again, the significance does not lie in the destination but in the journey. As a wise person, whose name I have forgotten, once said, "God seldom reveals blueprints for our lives."

Journeys can be really exciting (I'll talk more about St. Brendan's journey in May) so we should not ignore what it is we are supposed to be learning, enjoying, and cherishing along life's journey.

1 comment:

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