Friday, March 20, 2009

Called up, now walk...

Walk how? Largely irrelevant. Provided you keep walking.

All are called up to Him, out of the prison of themselves. All are called upward to the Holy of Holies, away from the Folly of Follies: men and women on toilets they call thrones. All are called up the same flight of stairs, lit by the same light, nourished by the same sustaining air. Who is beside you, ahead of you, behind you as you walk, is a matter of historical providence. Yet, how you walk is a matter of personal vocation and disposition.

Just as walking up stairs with different strides works your muscles differently, so walking up the Way works your soul in different ways. Walking up one step at a time, for instance, works the calves and soleus more than the quadriceps and hamstrings. By contrast, taking two steps at a time works your quads more than other muscles. Or again, taking three steps in a stride puts the power in your hamstrings and glutes. So we might imagine the laity taking each step at a time, priests striding two steps at a time, and bishops covering three steps at once as they go.

Visibly, the latter two strides might seem more impressive, and do require greater power per footstep, but intrinsically, all three modes of walking require the same thing: will power and faith to persevere towards the same goal, spurred on by the same vocation from the same Master.

Another point in common is that falling is the same catastrophe for all three kinds of walkers. We are equal by virtue of our calling, our goal, and equal in the indignity of our fallings. Even so, we are not identical in the way we ourselves agree to walk and the way we ourselves bring about our fall.

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