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Hiking in Arizona takes planning - before doing. Trail maps, maybe a guide, supplies, water, good hiking boots, and more. In the spiritual life we need the same preparation. Jesus said he not only knows the "trail" home to the Father's house but IS the way home. Catholics are pretty good at planning the walk with Jesus, but not always as deliberate in the actual doing. Intellectual assent to the Beatitudes, for example, is not the same as living one's daily life around them. The plan is to actually walk according to Jesus' trail rules every step of the way. They are summarized in Matt. 5,6, and 7. If we ignore them, our pride will want a shortcut and we will leave Jesus on the trail and give ourselves permission to do it our own way. So Jesus sits on a rock and waits for us to turn around (repent) and get back to the trail we presumptuously left. If all we had was Matt. 5,6,7, and the Sacramental life of the church, we would have all we need to get safely home.

In Arizona, some hikers get lost and die because they left the trail and ignored the life-saving rules. The Sermon on the Mount (those 3 chapters in Matt.) lays out the trail rules for our spiritual life. can understand why Jesus put such force behind being doers of his commands rather than hearers only.

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