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Thursday, 04 January 2007 21:31

Written by Keith Strohm

I stumbled upon an interesting discussion on Ecumenism the other day, which, unlike so many discussions of the topic, didn't devolve into a flame-fest of 'End Times' proportions. It happened on another Catholic website, a notably 'flamey' little place where I like to lurk and occasionally post.

Anyway, the phrase that caught my eye in the discussion was 'duc in altum.' Now, normally I just love other languages for their own sake, but as another poster translated the phrase with some depth, it began to resonate within me. I discovered that 'duc in altum' is a phrase given in the 2nd person singular present, imperative, active voice. It is a command that means 'go into the deep.'

And that's where my heart begins to pound.

Go into the deep! This is truly the command of the Lord--to travel outside what we know and are comfortable with, into the darkness of sin and human suffering, so as to be a light for the nations. It's a companion to the command "Take Your Place," for our place is truly there in the midst of life, riding the tumultuous waves and swirling tides of its vast need, not in its shallows, floating idly (and safely) by the shore. Christ, the Eternal Fisherman calls us out of our safe harbors to labor for the sake of the world--to become 'fishers of men,' so that all may know the freedom to be found in the Net of Christ.

So, where is the deep in our lives? What areas have we been called to, but resisted because of fear or uncertainty? Is it living out our faith at work or at school? Do we have trouble praying and sharing Christ in our families or with our friends? Perhaps it something else entirely. I invite anyone who wants to share their thoughts in the comment box below to do so.

Duc in altum--go into the deep.

The beautiful reality is that we do not travel alone. We have been called to this work together. Our ship is the very Body of Christ, and the breath of the Holy Spirit blows hard in our sails, guiding us along the vast sea road to the deep.

Where we belong.


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