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Living the Faith in Exile

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  • Living the Faith in Exile

    ....As Americans, we generally have no great attachment to place. We are, the tumbleweeds of the cosmos; the flotsam and jetsam of the world washed onto these shores where we forever wander about looking for more ways to make money. Our place of birth is an inconsequential accident. This makes it somewhat difficult for us to appreciate the anguish of exile, and when we read the Divine Comedy, it is only with a considerable effort of imagination that we can empathize with Dante's abiding sorrow arid bitterness over being exiled from Florence. Were I to be exiled from my native town, Philadelphia, I can't say that I would be much disturbed, for I never loved Philadelphia. I recall once talking to a Frenchman who told me that the trouble with Americans is that we move around too much; we have no sense of belonging to a particular patch of ground. If we would only stay still, he said, we might pull our lives together and make sense of them. I suppose he had gotten hold of some piece of the truth about us, but there is little I can do to remedy my rootlessness. Like that of my countrymen, my patriotism, such as it is, is rooted in ideas rather than in the soil. So for be to be exiled from my country comes down to my country's adopting ideas and practices to which I cannot subscribe. My exile can only be conceived as cultural, not geographical.

    My greater patria is the Church....


    for the rest of the author's comments.

  • #2
    If I were exiled from Kentucky, I would sneak back in and live in hiding. That is the nice thing about trees. Forests are the ideal place to hide. I would not say that I have moved around much except for schooling. Since that was over I have stayed put since 1976. I have no roots here in this town and this is just where God has put me. I am on my journey and my home is not in sight but it just my next breath away. My father has prepared it for me and he does nothing by half measures.