Did You Know that You Could Miss Heaven by 18 inches?

Blog by Associate Conni Dubick, OPA

Daniel Groody, CSC, a University of Notre Dame theologian has cited a flyer that he had seen once that said “Did you know that you could miss heaven by 18 inches?  Eighteen inches is the distance from the head to the heart.”  This made me smile when I heard him say it at a conference entitled “Dying to Live: Migration, Religious Life and the Eucharist,” but I am compelled to ponder the essential message to me as an Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Recently I listened to another presentation where Fr. Groody crystalized my understanding that migration is simultaneously “one of the most complex and simplest issues because people either don’t understand the facts or aren’t listening to each other.” He calls himself a “Border Theologian” because of the existence of geographical borders among countries and spiritual borders in our relationship with God and each other.  His message is to move beyond our own “borders” and try to understand the complex task of moving from “head to heart to feet and back again.”

Fr. Groody suggests that in his years of trying to be a theologian and a human being, he has identified basic facts: migrants feel that they are on a journey as nobodies; migrants are struggling to become somebodies with dignity and respect; the Eucharist is the bond between us because it connects Jesus to all of us. “Theology supplies a way of thinking about migration that keeps the human issues at the center of the debate.  It offers not just more information but a new imagination, one that reflects at its core what it means to be human before God and to live together in community.”

Here’s a link to learning more about the source of “new imagination.”

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

7 responses to “Did You Know that You Could Miss Heaven by 18 inches?

  1. I’m so glad to read your reflection and thoughts from Fr. Groody. We could miss heaven by 18 inches – how clever is that! Migrants who are on a journey as nobodies – so sad.

  2. Thank you Connie for calling us as a Dominican family to walk with the immigrants and refugees in compassion and love. Most of our own families of origin were also refugees and immigrants and suffered quite a bit in their own time.
    Hopefully, as we spread the good news and assist these young people coming to America, we will bring America back to its roots of welcoming all to the US and trusting in God’s Providence and our willingness to offer love and service, our country will be a model for others to care for the poor and the suffering.

  3. Thank You Conni! for your reflection and video of Fr. Groody.
    My reflection this morning was on the Joy people “on the Journey” can remain so joyful as those I’ve met and worked with. They truly haven’t made this their earthly home but migrating back to God. Could I? in midst of persecution??

  4. Thank you so much, Connie. I really appreciate how Fr. Groody teaches about immigration especially the thought how God migrated to earth and how we are migrating back to God.

  5. thanks so much Conni on your insights on this very complicated issue of migration. Peace, Alicia

  6. Thank you, Conni. We so need that “new imagination” that pulls us out of our own narrow little vision and allows us to walk with each other in compassion and understanding. I have worked with refugees from many faith traditions: Catholic Christian, Romanian Orthodox, Coptic; and Muslim, Sufi, Hindu. Inevitably, the question arises: “Why is God doing this, letting this happen, to me?” —no matter what tradition. We do walk together . . .

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