July/August Editorial – The Restless Heart

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The Restless Heart

Many people venture on a journey at this time of the year, so it seems apt to recall that worn but still potent line of T.S. Eliot’s that ‘We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.’

The journey metaphor remains supreme for reflecting upon life or the spiritual path. From Homer’s Odyssey to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, from the Canterbury Tales to Lord of the Rings, the image of travelling towards a goal or destiny continues to provide inspiration and encouragement to humanity.

Annually, over eight million pilgrims journey to Lourdes and slightly less to Fatima. Each year, more than a million Hindus visit Benares to bathe in the sacred Ganges and millions more Muslims visit Mecca. Those who undertake a pilgrimage such as these or Lough Derg, the Camino or ‘walkabout’ in the Australian outback, often do so for spiritual enlightenment or renewal. Unlike the ordinary holidaymaker who simply seeks temporary refreshment or diversion, the pilgrim hopes for revelation, a glimpse of truth or even fulfilment. In parables used throughout his own travels, Jesus too depicted the experience of those on a journey like the Prodigal Son or the Good Samaritan to illustrate revelation or truth.

No matter how successful we are, how much we earn or what we achieve, there always seems to be a sense of restlessness in the human condition indicating perhaps that our final destiny is beyond this life. It was St Augustine of Hippo (feast day, 28 August ) who said, ‘Our hearts are restless, O God, and will not rest until they rest in Thee’. So when we journey in search of answers, enlightenment or experiences that might heal or fulfil us it is good to know that we are sharing in one of the greatest and most common human impulses.

Wherever you may be planning to travel in the coming months may you find relaxation and peace.

Prayer for a Safe Journey

O God, who gave your servant Tobias the holy
archangel Raphael for a companion on his
journey, grant that during our earthly pilgrimage
we may always be protected by his watchful
care and strengthened by his help.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Michael Keane RIP

At the time of going to press the sad news has emerged of the death of Michael Keane, Chairman of the Advisory Board to Intercom and former editor of the Irish Press. His premature passing is an immeasurable loss to his family; his wife Jenny and children Aoife, Simon and Michael, and very wide circle of friends and colleagues to whom deep sympathy is extended in their bereavement. Michael’s wisdom, vast experience and expertise were readily and generously placed at the service of Intercom and its readership whose interests guided all of his deliberations and discussions. His warm and gentlemanly presence and expertise in leading our monthly meetings and his kindness to myself as incoming editor will be greatly missed by all.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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