The Gospel Truth

A Walk for Eternity | September 24, 2014

Walking has become a national obsession. Year round the malls, streets and tracks are dotted with sweating men, women and children in a colorful array of sports togs, feverishly trying to beat the time clock of life’s grim reader. Charities make millions every year sponsoring walkathons for causes of all kinds.

I walk primarily to get where I am going and for the walker’s high that I sometimes get when I walk fast and for a long distance. My wife and I made the “walk” down Constitution Ave in 2008 in recognition of the 50,000,000 lives wasted because of the Roe v Wade decision promulgated in 1973.

Like wit Mark Twain I believe that the game of golf is a pefectly good way to spoil a good walk.

These are just a few of the many different motivations that compel people to lace up their Nikes, don their Under Armours and hit the streets. Did you ever wonder why people walk and how important and varied it is to human life?

Leave it to Adam Gopnik of New Yorker magazine to explain all the variegated reasons from exercise and self-defense to recreation and thinking for human bipedalism.  I especially found his idea of solitude while walking intriguing!

Walking can also be a sermon. On the opening night of my parish’s Lenten Mission years ago, the visiting priest asked us, what was Jesus’ ‘best’ homily? His Sermon on the Mount or quite possibly the Last Supper immediately came to mind.

While he said both were excellent answers, there was something much better. A priest for 40 years, he had only recognized Jesus’ best sermon 10 years ago.

Before answering his question, he talked on the beauties and importance of the many walks in life, from the graduation walk, the walk down the aisle on a wedding day to the leisure stroll with friends and family.

Father said Jesus’ best homily depicted the most important walk in the history of the world and it was on the walls of every church he had ever walked into–the Stations of the Cross.

In meditating on the stations, Father found that they were a microcosm of the Catholic faith. And every time he looked at that walk on the wall it if was as if Jesus was saying to him, Come Follow Me.” (Mark 1:17)

The first lesson is that we must stop judging people for what they have and who they are because we are all God’s children. On His second stop Jesus is telling us to stop our complaining. Jesus was innocent of any wrongdoing and yet He was tortured and sentenced to death but never complained.

At stops three, seven and nine Jesus falls to the ground but despite His pain and suffering He got up again–He never quit… In the battles of the flesh and the spirit, we must never give up.

In the middle of His walk, Simon of Cyrene was enlisted to help Jesus carry His burden. Similarly, many of us have been called as caregivers and helpers to ease the burdens of those close to us who may have a difficult time carrying their crosses of disease, old age or personal affliction.

At stations four, sixth and eight, Jesus had sound advice for a world that preaches that happiness can only be found only where there is no pain or suffering.

Jesus’ touching encounter with Mary, who found immense joy within the pangs of the suffering of childbirth, echoing the profound words of St. James’ Epistle, Count it all joy my brethren, when you meet various trials for you know that the testing of your faith, produces steadfastness. (Jas.1: 2-3)

To the compassionate Veronica He leaves His image in blood and sweat that she would joyously treasure forever. To the women of Jerusalem, His message was for them to stop their weeping over His suffering but focus on their children because children who bring joy, laughter and renew the spirit of life.

At the 10th stations Jesus tells us to love the material things of the world but don’t make them the center of your being.

At the next stop Jesus talks about pain. Father said everyone is handicapped in some way. Jesus never complained during His long ordeal. He offered it up to His Father for us.

Jesus also invites us to join Him in the cross of suffering, not because suffering is wonderful but by offering up our pains and suffering for others they will serve as a vehicle of His healing grace.

Before we can finish our walk we must let go of our bitterness, grudges and forgive those who have wronged us.

While Jesus’ walk was to His death on the Cross our walk is a way to life eternal. Next time you go into a Church, take a few moment to “listen” to His best homily.

How many listen more to the anchors on commercial TV or NPR radio for their truth.  I was in a parking lot at the Jewish Community Center a few weeks ago and I saw a confusing bumper sticker. This one said: I am against the death penalty. That’s all well and good but it was the following proof that nearly knocked me over.

Look what it did to Jesus!  Wow what a revelation! The death penalty killed Christ and not His own people, who rejected everything He stood for fear of their loss of power.   I would love to have asked the auto owner, where would we all be had Jesus not lost His life on the Cross? Would man’s salvation had been achieved had Jesus died by a “drive-by-shooting” or died of cardiac arrest at the age of 65?

Not only The New Yorker missed the importance of Jesus’ walk for salvation but even my own Catholic Newspaper, the St. Louis Review published an atrocious cartoon of Jesus hanging on the Cross with the caption that read: This is what the death penalty did!” So even the Catholic press entirely missed the message of Jesus’ long walk to Calvary.

The bottom line then is that in order to find our eternal home, we not only had to hear the talk but put pick up our crosses daily and do the walk.

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1 Comment »

  1. Walking is overrated.

    Comment by Mike Ellington — September 27, 2014 @ 11:10 am


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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