Title

The Way

Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Ron Stottlemyer

Second Advisor

Ann Bertagnolli

Third Advisor

Fr. Michael Driscoll

Abstract

Life is a sum of simultaneous journeys. Some of these excursions are physical, but the majority are intangible spiritual or interpersonal pilgrimages. In our spiritual as well as physical journeys, the way we choose, the road we travel, will, as Robert Frost penned, make all the difference. This metaphor may appear overused, but only because it remains such an accurate description of the human experience. This thesis is a reflection upon the great spiritual exodus we all make, to lesser or greater degrees, into the realm of God, which both envelopes and internally supports our natural world. In this journey, dark forces confront us, seeking to tempt us from the true path. As consequences of our choices at such crossroads, we either follow roads that lead into forests of death, where cutthroat bandits lurk, or we travel the open highways of the Divine King. These examples are extremes, and many smaller paths run between the two, yet it seems wise not to explore the thick forest in search of a highway. For though many speak to the contrary, not all roads in this realm "lead to Rome," the Eternal City, the archetypical capital of the kingdom; our choices may lead us in precisely the opposite direction. In the natural world, we may end up as prey for dangerous animals if we get sidetracked into the wilds; just so, our eternal destiny may not be pleasant if we lose sight of, or lose altogether, our final destination. Happily, we do not always travel alone. The King himself often journeys with us, though we do not always recognize him. And sometimes other companions help and guide us, though occasionally they lead us astray with "short-cuts." The following poem serves well, I think, as an epigram for both my thesis and this serious journey of ours.

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