"We are called to follow Jesus on the downward path of ministry and to go where God is leading, even if that place is 'somewhere we would rather not go' (John 21:18).

"Following Jesus involves leaving the comfortable place and going to a place that is outside our comfort zone. Spiritual displacement is what is called for. The dictionary says that to displace is 'to move or to shift from the ordinary or proper place. As a ship at sea displaces water, so we are displaced when something greater than ourselves moves us in a new direction or state of being. For displacement to be a real discipline, it has to be voluntary. Voluntary displacement prevents us from being caught in the net of the ordinary and proper. It is the discipline essential to remembering who we really are and remaining in touch with our greatest gifts of gratitude and compassion.

"Voluntary displacement unmasks the illusion that we have to 'make it to the top' and offers us a glimpse of a deeper spiritual reality. It puts us in touch with our own suffering and pain, our own woundedness and brokenness, our own limitations and powerlessness. As long as we want to be interesting , distinct, special, and worthy of special praise, we are pulled away from the deep realization that we are like other people, that we are part of the human race, and, in the final analysis, that we are not different but the same.

"The discipline of displacement calls us away from the comfortable place and the easy oasis. To be called means to be always on the way, always moving, always searching, always hoping, always looking forward. Our vocation may require pursuit of a certain career. It may become visible in a concrete job or task. But it can never be reduced to this. It is not our career but our vocation that counts in the spiritual life. As soon as we begin to identify our career with our vocation, we are in danger of ending up in 'an ordinary and proper place,' unmindful of the fact that the wounds we still have are calling us to continue our search together with our fellow pilgrims.

"For Thomas Merton, displacement meant leaving the university and going to a monastery. For Martin Luther, it meant leaving the monastery and becoming a reformer. For Dietrich Bonhoeffer, it meant returning to his country from the safety of the United States and becoming a prisoner of the Nazis. For Martin Luther King, Jr., it meant leaving the 'ordinary and proper place' of blacks and leading a movement for civil rights. For Mother Teresa, it meant leaving the convent and starting an order to care for the 'poorest of the poor' in Calcutta. For Jean Vanier, it meant leaving academia to live with the physically and mentally handicapped in L'Arche.”