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From Chapter 1 of Saint Josemaría Escrivá’s book The Way: Character

#12

Let those very obstacles give you strength. God’s grace will not fail you: ‘Inter medium montium pertransibunt aquae! You shall pass through the mountains!’

Does it matter that you have to curtail your activity for the moment if afterwards, like a spring which has been compressed, you will reach incomparably farther than you ever dreamed?

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Thou makest springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills… (Psalm 104:10)

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Over the past year I have read the occasional article about Donna D’Errico and her quest to find Noah’s Ark. Donna was recently interviewed by one of my favorite bloggers, Stacy Transancos, and said some things that caught my eye when considering today’s entry by Saint Josemaría:

Stacy: I relate to so much of your personal journey, and although my dream wasn’t to climb Mt. Ararat, I am inspired by your passion to follow yours. It’s a big dream! It takes courage, and courage is a virtue. I know something of this courage; it’s like David vs. Goliath. You have to try. Where did you find the courage to follow this dream? Why do it? As some might say, why not just let it go? You went already and almost got killed.

Donna: I have been inexplicably drawn to climbing Mount Ararat and searching for Noah’s Ark ever since I was a child. It’s hard to explain, really. It’s just something I have felt a strong pull towards my whole life. This is not some new or recent fancy of mine. In fact, some interviews I gave 15 years ago where I talk about this lifelong dream of mine are still available online. It was my brush with death from a near-fatal MRSA infection in December 2010 that prompted me to finally get out there and search for the Ark like I’d been dreaming of doing my whole life. I worked very hard training to get in the physical condition needed for climbing and living on a mountain for two weeks. I also worked very hard researching and planning the expedition. It took a long time and a lot of preparation and determination. Being a mother, I have always told my kids that they can accomplish anything if they want it badly enough and work hard for it. What I did showed them what I have always only told them. You really can accomplish your dreams. I would never tell my kids to let their dreams go. Neither would I want to set an example like that by letting my dream go.

Stacy: We both are mothers. I admire the way you brag about your children and tell about the time you spend with them. I will tell my daughters about you. I’ll tell them that there’s a woman who had the man-made fame and glory of Hollywood, but went on to become an explorer, and she searched bravely for Noah’s Ark. Here in the weeks before your preparation to, again, climb Mt. Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark, what message can you send to children about being successful in life?

Donna: Goodness, what a wonderful way to have described me to your daughters! Bless you for that.

The message I would like to send to children is the same message I send to my own: You really can accomplish your dreams. Dream big, work hard, and guard your faith. The world is filled with people who want to take your faith away from you. Get on your knees at your bed every night before bed and thank God for all he gave you that day. Pray together with your family; it makes you stay close. Learn and pray the Rosary. Being a good person, following the Ten Commandments, praying, attending Mass every Sunday, and being close to your mother and father is not “uncool”, no matter what anyone says. Anyone who does those things is definitely cool in my book.

The entire interview is here.

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