As Vows speedily approach, I thought I would spend some time explaining the internal dynamics of this time. This is a sacred time in life, one of expectation and wonder. I am reminded of Rudolf Otto's description of the sacred as the "Mysterium tremendum et fascinans." I think that Latin phrase says it quite well. The vows are mysterious. The vows are tremendous, causing some trepidation. The vows are also captivating, being a focal point of desire. This is not unlike the preparation I would think a couple undergoes before the Sacrament of Marriage. Thus, it is a time of profound joy.
Last summer in Peru, I remember walking up a hillside with one of my second year brothers to an archaeological site of human sacrifice to the sun-god. It was precisely 50 days until he took his vows, and so I quipped, "Only 50 more days, and YOU will be made a holy oblation before the Lord." He did not find that overly funny. Yet then and there I made a mental note that although vows would indeed entail much sacrifice, if I did not feel deep JOY at that point the following year, I probably should not proceed toward taking them.
Thankfully, there has been a consisent peace, joy, and feedom in stepping toward this sacrifice. I am quite aware that I am going to be receiving A LOT, and not just giving. Even though poverty, chastity, and obedience may sound like a real pain (and they are modeled on Christ's life of sacrifice), I can have confidence in His words that what is given up for His sake is given back one hundredfold.
One of the greatest parts of preparing for vows is that I am not doing it alone. I have 8 amazing brothers who are right here with me, every step of the way. I also have a worldwide brotherhood of 15,000 who I will be joining. Most of all, this is an opportunity to grow in further union and fidelity with the God of love.
Welcome! My name is John Roselle, SJ, and I took lifelong ("perpetual") vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as a Jesuit on August 13th, 2011 after a two-year novitiate. I am now a Jesuit Scholastic for the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus. I will study philosophy and theology for the next three years at Loyola University in Chicago. At the same time, I will do part-time ministry in some capacity with the poor. After that, I will likely teach for three years before finishing three more years of theology. Then, God willing, I will be ordained a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest! It's a long road, but a blessed, fun, and enriching one. This blog exists as a resource for friends, family, and others who are interested in my progress through the Jesuit process of formation. Every day is its own adventure, and I am happy to have you along with me to share in this. This blog contains my own personal thoughts and should not be taken to speak for the entire Society of Jesus. Feel free to contact me. God bless you!