After a long transition, I felt the call to quiet contemplation and spiritual direction and found myself driving to St. Anthony’s Spiritual Sanctuary, a Franciscan retreat center in rural Wisconsin.
I had no plans, other than to spend a day in silent prayer and mindful walking but shortly after I arrived, I met with the Reverend and spent some time talking to him about life transitions and spiritual practice. I then roamed the Sanctuary and was mesmerized by the long hallways that hundreds of young men had walked before me as they prepared for a lifetime devoted to spiritual practice.
Sometimes we feel we have to journey far to find a retreat or place of solitude, but the sanctuary is closer than we think. The silence, the serenity, and tranquility that we seek is within each of us. Our spiritual journey is visible when we clear the weeds from our minds and step intentionally onto the path that we were given. Sometimes the road leads us in a different direction than where we intended to go, but that is when we need to trust that we are being guided and that the new path will be smoother, lighter and brighter than the path that we chose for ourselves.
In life, sometimes we choose a path, and sometimes the path is chosen for us.