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In the heavenly places

"In the heavenly places." (Ephesians 1:3) Where are those heavenly places? Most of us have been taught to think that the heavenly places are up there; someplace beyond reach. A place flowing with milk and honey, and filled with serenity and peace. Certainly not here. I have a good friend who sports a bumper sticker on his car: 'I would rather be here now.' Not fishing. Not at the beach or shopping. Here. Which is where heaven is. Which is where God is working. When we go to a favored place for the purpose of getting away from it all -- or go on retreat, we may have a sense that we are going to a unique heavenly place. The fact is, God is no more there than God is here. The difference is that in that 'away from it all' place, we position our souls differently, and are more ready to receive God's presence. Next month, a group of bishops in New York and New Jersey are planning to go to Haiti. Haiti is part of our province. We will go to offer support to our brother bishop, Zache, who has invited us. We also go because -- in spite of squalor and cholera and unspeakable grief, Haiti is a heavenly place. We go to witness, and to find out -- in new ways, how God is working.


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