The other day I came upon the ceramic pictured above and a Jesuit informed me that it’s derivative of a saying of one of the first Jesuits – and a companion of St. Ignatius – named Jeronimo Nadal who said, “The road is our home.”
This Jesuit was also asked by a Coptic Orthodox friend of mine how Jesuits and monks compare. The Coptic Catholic Jesuit explained that people would seek out the monks who remained put whereas Jesuits would seek out the people, finding them wherever they are.
I recently came upon these two quotations in juxtaposition:
“Those who travel much seldom achieve holiness.” – Thomas À Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, I, 23, in about 1418
“They consider that they are in their most peaceful and pleasant house when they are constantly on the move, when they travel throughout the earth, when they have no place to call their own.” – Jeronimo Nadal, in about 1565
Is it holier to be a hermit or a missionary?
Is it holier to be able to be at home in a cell or to be able to be at home anywhere in the world?
What are the circumstances most conducive to spiritual detachment?
Of course, the appropriate answers are more nuanced than dichotomous. And, it’s a matter of discernment and temperament.
Such meditations transcend the imminent and the immanent; they demand, at the very least, some eternal consideration.