In one of my favorite scenes from The Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya is outside a pub, falling-down drunk, and he has this exchange with the soldier sent to remove him:
Inigo: I am waiting for you, Vizzini. You told me to go back to the beginning. So I have. This is where I am, and this is where I’ll stay. I will not be moved.
Brute: But the Prince gave orders –
Inigo: — So did Vizzini — when a job went wrong, you went back to the beginning. And this is where we got the job. So it’s the beginning, and I’m staying till Vizzini comes.
We’re in the first week of Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year. I notice things like this because I’m something of a liturgy geek. But I also notice it because I’m always looking for an excuse to start fresh. Advent is a return to the beginning.
My favorite way of returning to my spiritual roots is to set aside the commentaries, the books on prayer and spirituality, the homilies and meditations and reflections, and immerse myself in the word itself—the Gospels, the prophets, the psalms—unfiltered, and let it speak to me anew. As an editor, I can get word-weary. But I never get tired of the Word.
This is what St. Francis knew, when he said, “Let us begin again.” This is what Pope Francis knows, and speaks of so eloquently in “The Joy of the Gospel.” This is what I discovered last weekend when I was clearing far too much dust off my copy of the Saint John’s Bible. No matter how frustrated I get with daily life, I still have an abiding love of the Word. It keeps me moving forward.
I’m waiting for the Lord. “This is where I am, and this is where I will stay. I will not be moved.”