|My Second-Year Novice Brothers|
"If the Lord our God has separated us by these vast distances, we are still united by our awareness of these strong bonds that unite us in a single spirit and a common love, since I have judged aright, neither physical separation, nor estrangement, nor forgetfulness can have any meaning for those who love one another in the Lord. For it seems to me that we shall always sustain each other as we were ever want to do before."
An essential part of Jesuit life is remaining united in dispersion. Hence, my second-year brothers and I keep up a private blog together, to update one another on our lives, and trade phone calls. This weekend I was blessed to travel 6 hours from Cleveland to Chicago with one of my former novice brothers to meet up with 3 other second year novices (one of whom came down from Milwaukee). We had a great time of much laughter, catching up, deep conversation, mutual support, and Chicago deep dish! It was bittersweet for the weekend to end. In fact, when I said goodbye to one of my bros, I thought for a second that I was going to get misty-eyed. We all care for and love one another deeply as brothers.
In Luke 22:31, Jesus says to Peter, "And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." That is what it's about, strengthening one another as brothers in the Society. It's the same gift of the spirit of faith-based camaraderie and companionship given to those first Jesuits. One of the things that I really appreciate about Jesuit formation is that 3 times a year we have a reunion of some sort for all of the young guys (about 90 in our region of the country). This is a sort of family reunion of the guys with whom we will be spending the rest of our lives, and it is a great honor and blessing to be alongside them.
|The First Companions of the Society|