Charles Schultz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, said that "happiness is a warm puppy." Having allergies and thus dogs in my youth, I can imagine such a bliss but can't say I've had the experience. Instead, I grew up with frogs as pets.
Today is a "feast day" of sorts, in honor of the day I received a mail-order tadpole from the Grow A Frog company. It was the first year of being home schooled in the sixth grade, so I convinced my parents to let me have an aquatic African clawed frog from a mail order educational supply company called Grow A Frog. I named the tadpole Cecil after a favorite baseball player, Cecil Fielder. It turned out later that Cecil was a woman! Later, I received a free froglet from Grow A Frog, which I named Cal for Cal Ripken Jr., another impressive baseball player at the time. If you are curious, check out the Grow A Frog website here, and you can see photos of the kit, etc. You can even order one for yourself! http://www.growafrog.com/
Random, right? So, why is this so special? Well, first of all, it was these little frogs that lifted my spirits during the middle school years, which are tough for everyone. At moments when I was pretty bummed out, I would go over and look at the frogs, and Cecil always seemed come over and look at me and have a smile on her face. Crazy, I know, but at the time (although I knew nothing of it) God was using this frog to speak to me of His grace. I truly loved these frogs. After 6 years, Cecil passed away. My family still jokes about the funeral "liturgy" I created for her, complete with music and a eulogy. I wish I had a video tape of that ceremony! It could be blackmail material :)
I am happy to say that Cal is still kicking after 15 years. Sometimes this species lives past 25 years, so he may only be at mid-life! Since I am not able to have a pet at this time, I would like to thank my parents, sisters, and a family-friend Susan Mamary for collaborating for his care over the past many years.
This strange but perhaps humorous blog post, isn't it? After all, who celebrates a frog's birthday? But then again, Jesus said that His Father watches over the sparrow. I have heard it said that "God attends the funeral of every sparrow." I suppose the same holds true for frogs. Indeed, although animals are by no means equivalent to humans, they are privileged creations of God's providence, able to communicate God's grace in many ways, and are worthy of respect, mercy, and love.
So, I'll have to add to Schulz's statement: "happiness is a cold tadpole."
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!