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Scott P. Richert

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Stairway to Heaven

By March 12, 2014

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A circular iron stairway in a lighthouse. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

(A circular iron stairway in a lighthouse. Photo © Scott P. Richert)

Having grown up on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, I've always loved lighthouses. But I'm often a little reluctant to climb the stairs up to the light itself. Many lighthouses on the Great Lakes have circular iron stairways that are very steep, very narrow, and have some sort of lattice work in the tread (to keep water off the stairs) that lets you see easily all the way to the bottom. Since I'm a bit afraid of heights, lighthouse stairs are not exactly my cup of tea.

But when I get the opportunity to climb a lighthouse, I do it. My love of lighthouses outweighs my fear, and I force myself to the top. In the end, the view is always worth it.

Our spiritual journey through the liturgical year is a lot like those lighthouse stairs. Sometimes we may wonder why we have to go through the discipline of Lent every year. Wasn't once enough? But as every year circles back around, we try to move a little further forward, onward and upward, toward our ultimate goal.

The way is narrow, often steep, and sometimes even a bit frightening, but the view from the top of any lighthouse pales in comparison with the reward that awaits us at the top of our stairway to Heaven.

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February 17, 2010 at 11:22 am
(1) Connie G. says:

Very inspirational. Sometimes the risk is worth the reward, yes.

February 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm
(2) Nancy says:

Many of my friends actually look forward to Lent each year – it’s a time to step back and focus on spiritual improvement, and everyone understands when you say that you’re doing something (or not doing it) because it’s Lent.

February 17, 2010 at 3:24 pm
(3) Tom Piatak says:

Excellent reflection, Scott.

February 17, 2010 at 4:32 pm
(4) Sukhmandir Kaur says:

I like your imagery. I often think spirituality is like a ladder or steps each is necessary and we have the chose to either go up or down. Great post Scott!

February 19, 2010 at 12:31 pm
(5) Aly says:

A very tough climb. A very meaningful picture. Thanks Scott I always enjoy your articles.

February 19, 2010 at 12:41 pm
(6) Kathy says:

First time at your site. I am impressed and look forward to more.
My image is of Jesus, as a young boy, beginning his own journey, “climbing stairs” so we all could enjoy the view.

February 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm
(7) Alice says:

Yes, I, too, have tried climbing lighthouse stairs and once gone halfway up; it was in NJ. I was able to look out a window where the view was so-so; my husband who went all the way to the top raved how the view was stupendous! Kind of makes me think this is what purgatory would be like. Once we conquer our fears we will be able to face God.

March 8, 2012 at 2:13 am
(8) Emmanuel says:

Great reflection. When the eye sees the mountain it seems high but when the leg steps on the foot of it one steps, two steps and another…you are achieving the top in no time.May God give us the boldness to take a step. Amen.

March 8, 2012 at 9:33 am
(9) Patti Day says:

What a lovely idea to pray on each step as you climb closer to Our Lord, and not to look back or look down but to trust in Him. I love Lent, maybe because it’s the time of year that the Holy Spirit opened my heart once again to the Catholic Church. I love light houses too. I have a little collection of some along the east coast to reminid me of visits, but I’ve never climbed the stairs. If ever I have a chance, I will know just what to do.

March 16, 2013 at 9:44 am
(10) Roque Sumulong says:

Steps to happiness is done one step at a time, like ascending a flight of stairs…watch your steps…

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