"But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have just landed in them, usually — their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on."
— J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
Lord, as we come to the end of our seminar, we pause once more to call to mind your invitation in this season to "turn." The invitation to "turn" calls to mind so many images:
the turning of soil to prepare for new growth
the turn in a road that sets us off in a new unexpected direction
the turning of a dancer
the turning of a heart
the turning toward healing
the turning toward companionship
the turning toward hope
As the tiny hobbit reminds us in the classic Lord of the Rings the only turning never associated with great adventurers is turning back. Those who are remembered are those "as just went on."
And, so as we leave here, we ask you, God, to give us the strength and the courage that we need to "just go on." The perseverance that we need to turn in every which way you would have us to go, but backward. For the journey that you have launched us on, O Lord, is one that we will never regret. May every day of our work be a "yes" to you and to your invitation to serve Catholic health care.
Keep us safe in our travel as we return to our homes and remain with us in our Lenten "turning." Remind us daily of your desire to heal us, to accompany us, to give us hope. We pray, as we always have, in Jesus' name.
Keep our eyes turned toward you.