The blindness of my Emmaus, but then

Emmaus

Jesus reprimanded the disciples on the way to Emmaus for being so slow to believe everything that was written about Him. Then we read that they were prevented from recognizing him. Sure, but this was because of their purposed lack of belief. Jesus, ever so patient, but with enthusiasm, works with them, dare I say, accompanies them until they will assent to their eyes being opened.

There are many excuses we latch onto for our purposed lack of belief. For instance, in the ultra famous painting above, notice the artist just happens to forget[!] to put the wounds of the crucifixion on the wrists of Jesus. Why? Also, pretty much all my Scripture profs throughout my seminary years trashed the Emmaus account as being fiction because, they said, a more or less eight mile walk couldn’t possibly be repeated in the same day, later that night when the “supposedly” returned to Jerusalem, and so it’s all an exaggeration, something make believe, so as to say how important the… wait for it… meta-historical (non-physical) resurrection was. Sigh. Just to say, sick of all this stupidity, just a day before the Saddam’s war on Israel, wanting to prove walking in the Holy Land isn’t hard, and certainly 11 or 22 kms isn’t so much (7 or even 15 miles), I walked from Galilee starting about midnight to Jericho, about 4:00 PM the next day, that is, about 16 hours, some 50 miles. It’s possible. Anyway, the profs never got around to speaking about the content of the account itself, so eager were they to trash it. Why? Are they afraid to talk about reasons for unbelief and then belief? I’m not. Thus…

I confess that, in the seminary, I fell into sin, gravely impatient with faithless professors, knowing the damage they were doing to the faith wherever those future priests would go right around the world. I would let that get me depressed. As that happened, I’ll tell you this, my soul and mind were darkened and the ultra-refined theological points I had been throwing about in my heart, all rejoicing, now vanished altogether, gone. I couldn’t hear the inspirations of my guardian angel. Gone.

Wow, thought I, I had better get to confession, and then everything came back with that meeting up with the risen Jesus with the wounds upon Him, that application of the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Last Supper, where that first breaking of the Bread had taken place. Yikes, thought I.

Convicted in spirit, once again before Jesus, I could now believe. I had been as faithless and slow to believe as my profs. Our Lord always but always works with irony. But our Lord is eager that our hearts burn within us as He opens our eyes to everything about Him. And then we see those wounds of His, and that He is risen, and we rejoice. The rejoicing in Emmaus was uncontainable. Of course they could make their way back to Jerusalem the same day. I bet they ran all the way back to Jerusalem. Thank you, Jesus.

6 Comments

Filed under Spiritual life

6 responses to “The blindness of my Emmaus, but then

  1. Angela

    I ❤️ this. Thanks Father!

  2. sanfelipe007

    Yes, run – exactly what I thought!
    ” I couldn’t hear the inspirations of my guardian angel. Gone. Wow, thought I, I had better get to confession, and then everything came back…”
    Thank you, Father! What an excellent, additional way to recognize the need for Confession. The prerequisite being able to hear one’s GA. But how horrible, to me, to be deaf (or denied access) to one’s GA – a bellwether of a dark night of the soul? I am aware of my keen ignorance in this matter since I have never been anywhere near that state, so what could I know about it?
    I do not recall St. John identifying a loss of access to his GA – I had better reread DNotS. Heh, I wonder if there is a “Dark Night of the Soul for Dummies,” available?

  3. Father George David Byers

    I’ll have to write a post.

  4. elizdelphi

    My spiritual life book study is reading The Ascent of Mount Carmel currently at a very leisurely pace (been studying it every week since January and still not done), and Dark Night of the Soul next. i don’t think St John of the Cross talks about the guardian angel all that much. He does occasionally refer to angels but he is sort of relentlessly about direct contact with God, union with God. He also relentlessly says to pay no attention to most kinds of spiritual communications or experiences since they can be illusory or demonic and if it is from God the good will come to you regardless and virtue will be infused in your soul. But when what is present in my soul seems to be something other than virtue, and I seem bogged down, no kind of feeling of heavenly communications is going to settle me down till I get to confession. But then there’s the case when you feel really unvirtuous but really you’re growing in sanctity…I think that can happen, since some of the saints thought they were the worst people. It seems like the spiritual life can be really confusing and it is practically a miracle if one can get spiritual direction since there is very little competent spiritual direction out there.

  5. elizdelphi

    By the way I hope you will write that post Fr George.

  6. Today was First Communion Day at our parish. Our Pastor gave the nicest homily directed at the children about Jesus being with our best most faithful forever friend. He told the children that like in todays gospel He will accompany then on their road of live. I wish I could repeat it in its entirety here. I don’t know how the kids reacted to it but I wept it was so beautiful.
    Your professors were wrong. Even housewives burdened down with little kids can make a 15 mile trek. I used to do it with several friends back in the day – when we didn’t have second cars or the money for taxi cabs. Baby carriages work great for hauling kids and groceries or bushels of produce freshly picked from the local orchards. Those were the days.

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