The Poor in Spirit

Spiritual Poverty 04

Before I venture forth, the title above might be misleading to some Catholics who are well aware of Ignatian spirituality.  Its definition for spiritual poverty: that being the complete dependence upon God.  Ignatian spirituality wants the complete emptying of ourselves so that God might fill us.  The spiritual poverty I refer to is the lack of centricity with the holy Spirit, or God Himself.

I recently participated in a Life Teen proclamation in the Youth Ministry of my parish.  This proclamation, titled Beggar, had a goal, and I’ll let Life Teen’s own words state it:

“The goal of Beggar is to help teenagers understand that Jesus identifies with the poor, marginalized, and outcast because He was one of them.  The teens are also challenged to recognize Jesus in those on the periphery of their own lives.” Continue reading The Poor in Spirit

Is There a Christian Way?


I happened upon a blog post during a recent and rare trip to New Advent; a Catholic site with an amazing assortment of subject matter and an archive of wonder.  I say “rare” only in that I do grow tired of its futile emancipation of things incredibly shallow in nature.  I can read only so many times, “9 Reasons Why Pope Francis Likes Vegetables”, before I want to throw up my vegetables.

Anyways, having gone through the Catholic RCIA program in 2013, that’s the Rite of Christian Initiation for all of you non-Catholics, I found this post of good interest.  I’d have to say in regards to my own experience with RCIA, that it was far less frustrating than the type of one imagined in this post.  It was, nonetheless, similar with the writer’s experience in the fact that the program I went through seemed to offer up nothing as an examination of why I ever came to RCIA and the Catholic Church to begin with.  What was my motive?  Why the Catholic Church and not the Latter Day Saints or the Assembly of God?  Had I been called or was I searching?  Was there any metaphysical substance within me that sought the here-and-now, just as much as the there-and-later?

Continue reading Is There a Christian Way?

Faith and “The Way of Saint James”

Faith & Gratitude

Three days prior to reaching Santiago de Compostela, I received an email from a friend of The Way of St. James.  We had walked together for a day early in my journey, and shared quite a bit of conversation on matters of meaningful existence.  I’ll let you read his email, as I’m sure he will not mind.

Dear Reese;

One thought: Could you think of a final post after your arrival in Santiago, stating your “main lessons learned“? 

I believe there are so many key thoughts within all these quiet, long posts, and therefore it’s difficult to catch them all.

Buen Camino.

There is no doubt in my mind that my blog on “The Way” is literally the shipyard and graveyard of a thousand essays on the meaning and purpose of life.  I see all kinds of boats and ships of various class; under construction, set to be launched, secured to the dock or resting in the harbor, and many set out to sea.  Some are simply a speck on the horizon. And some others are wrecked on reefs of errant thinking, or at the bottom of the sea; sunk by ships faster and more deadly. Continue reading Faith and “The Way of Saint James”

Santiago de Compostela

The Silver Reliquary (by José Losada, 1886) holding the Remains of St. James

The last day of my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela came and went in a series of visions; the dark forest, the twisting farmlands, the edge of the suburbs, the highways leading to and from the city, and finally the city itself.  Unlike coming into Burgos and Leon, the two other largest cities along The Way, where there were vast and ugly commercial avenues leading to the old cities, Santiago suffered from no such definition and confinement.

Time had suspended itself during that day’s walk.  Whether my shoulders ached from the weight of the backpack or my feet shouted for pity and eternal rest, I sensed neither, nor would have entertained their overtures for attention.  Rather, my attention was focused upon what seemed the goal; the east gate to the old city and the cathedral within.  I so wanted to be within the cool and soaring stone walls of the cathedral for the noon Pilgrims’ Mass.  It was Sunday, and so that hope carried even a greater strength and purpose.  I also – confession time – desired to part myself, bodily and spiritually, from my backpack.  By now, it had attained full status as a symbol of my self-containment and daily measure.  Here in Santiago de Compostela I wanted to bust out, and breathe the air in ridiculous abundance, stretch my limbs, and heap impetuousness upon my land-leaned body and mind.  I had experienced and disciplined myself to the Camino for the past five weeks, practicing what I had preached to myself for the past year of what it should be like on the Camino, that I just wanted a little, untidy exuberance.  A hotel awaited my backpack and walking sticks.  I could leave them there, and go onto the cathedral and walk the streets to my leisure.  Walk?  Some more? Continue reading Santiago de Compostela

O’Pedrouso to Santiago De Compostela – Day 32

Shell Marker

Just to note.  I apologize to everyone who was expecting a post a couple of days ago regarding my walk into Santiago de Compostela; you know, the big event, the big finish.  I could not write it then, and I’m just beginning to be able to write it now.  Simply put, I was thoroughly overwhelmed, exhausted, and uncomfortably confused at the same time.  I’ll address that all in my following post.  I do want to speak of a lesson learned as I prepared for this final day’s journey, and so I offer it up at this time. 

I find it entirely fitting that God would send me a very clear message the last day of my journey on the Camino Frances, and in His always unimaginable perception of each of our needs, He shows me the lamb as my source of strength. Continue reading O’Pedrouso to Santiago De Compostela – Day 32