An Encouraging Word – Being at home

Father J. Ronald Knott
Father J. Ronald Knott

Should I not be seeking a pleasing home for you. Ruth 3:1

I was extremely busy all last year. I was away from home a lot leading priest retreats and volunteering in the missions. To give you an idea, I still have 250,000 frequent flyer miles on American Airlines, 150,000 on United Airlines and about 40,000 on Delta Airlines.

I was in many wonderful places in the U.S. such as Monterey, Portland, Dallas, Scranton, Davenport and Memphis. In Canada, I was in Sault Ste. Marie, Pembroke and Nelson, In the Caribbean, I was in Trinidad, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

It might all sound romantic, getting to go to all those places, but normally all I got to see was the hotel the priests gathered in and the airport terminal. The best part was all the interesting bishops and priests I met and interacted with, usually a week at a time.

Dorothy was right, “There’s no place like home!” Many times, especially those weeks when I was so tired I was dragging myself to the airport, I just wanted to sleep in my own bed, no matter how nice the hotel was! As some of the weeks wore on, I just wanted to be “at home.”

I live alone. Some of you might find that terrifying, dreadful and even pitiful. As a true introvert, often mistaken for an extrovert, I simply love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am most “at home” in my own home. It is a place of renewal, restoration, recuperation, regeneration, revitalization, revival and rebirth.

I love it so much that I invested in an in-home nursing care policy a few years back so I would not have to go to an institution any earlier than I would have to.

After many years of intense inner personal work, I am also “at home in my own skin.” As Bruce Springsteen said, “It’s a sad man my friend who’s livin’ in his own skin and can’t stand the company.”

I don’t feel like I am playing a role or pretending to be anybody other than myself. I have come to appreciate my talents and accept my shortcomings. I don’t try to appear younger than I am, smarter than I am, holier than I am or more loved than I am. I don’t beat myself up for not being perfect and I don’t need everyone to approve of what I do or love me.

Going into 2017, I feel “at home” in my own house and I feel “at home” in my own skin. I am following a vocation that keeps bringing me great satisfaction. I am carrying no grudges, jealousies or resentment. In fact, I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world to have come from where I came from and be where I am today.

May you feel “at home” during this new year — both in who you are and where you live.

To read more from Father Knott, visit his blog: FatherKnott.com.

Father J. Ronald Knott

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