One of the best and most ancient spiritual analogies that describes our life here on earth is the ship sailing towards the harbor of heaven. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, one of the patrons of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer), explained that it was one of her favorite analogies.
It reminds us that heaven is our true home and that our life on earth is temporary. All ships must come in at some point and cannot stay out at sea forever.
Additionally, ships out at sea must use a compass to ensure that they are going in the right direction. If the captain of a ship does not use a compass, he/she runs the risk of drifting off course and ending up in the wrong place. A storm in the middle of the ocean can easily take a ship off course and when the waters die down, the captain must use navigational tools to steer the ship in the right direction.
So too in the spiritual life.
If we are not oriented in the right direction and do not have a clear idea of where we are headed, it is easy to get side-tracked when the storms of life come and try to pummel us. We can then end-up drifting into dangerous territory that will further separate us from our final destination.
That is why it is most beneficial to set ourselves on the right path, such as the Way of the Heart, with a spiritual compass that keeps our soul headed towards God. It will help us to listen to the movements of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, following the voice of God to safer shores.
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA)