I always enjoy re-reading my travel journal from my sabbatical journey of 18 years ago. Because I was traveling alone I had time to record a lot of vivid impressions both visual and emotional right on the spot; these images fill two notebooks and several photo albums. I especially love reading about July, when I visited Rome, Monte Cassino, Paris, Strasbourg, and Konstanz in the Alps.
This journal has come to mean more and more to me over the years as a way of reminding myself of how God watched over me and gave me all of these great experiences in those beautiful places where I met such interesting people.
Well, have you ever gotten socked in the jaw by a sentence in a book? The punch caught me with my guard completely down. "It is perilously easy for us to be no longer on our way to Jerusalem." I had no nicely phrased excuses, no rationalizations, no place to hide. I just sat there in my chair and glanced guiltily to my left, where my travel journal always sits.
In the Prologue to his Rule for monks, St. Benedict encourages the potential follower with these words:
My the Lord keep all of us on the right road!