July 24, 2021

Mountaintops are a common biblical setting for encountering God.  Abraham’s great act of trust took place with his son upon an altar atop Mt. Moriah (Ex 22:3-18); Moses (Ex 19:3) and Elijah (1 Kings 19:11-13) each communed with the Lord in a particularly powerful way in the solitude of their respective rocky peaks; the psalmist speaks of the spiritual delights of high altitudes (e.g. Ps 11:1, Ps 104:8, Ps 125:1-2); sacrificial offerings and official worship were performed in the Temple atop Mt. Zion; while Jesus prayed earnestly on the Mount of Olives and offered the total gift of himself to his heavenly Father on Mt. Calvary.  The decision to ascend whatever mountain the Lord has placed on our path is a choice for the same kind of intimacy.  Yes, we have to bid farewell to those whose company we enjoy at the base, yes it is hard work, and yes we often ascend blindly without being able to see the summit along the way.  Nevertheless, our souls will be purified by the trust demanded in such a risk, and we shall become unthinkably close to the God who leads us to the top.  Let’s therefore not be afraid to go to the heights. Let’s find ways to climb the interior mountain. Let’s bring that constant privileged encounter with the living God within to those we meet in the ordinary circumstances of our lives.  Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

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