Sorry for being away from the blog for so long! I bet you all figured that I was super-busy with school, etc., and you'd be right! It's not over yet (one more test and paper), but I didn't want to go any longer without refreshing the blog. There is so much more that I could say about each of these, but here it is in rapid-fire fashion:
- Some of us were able to score some free Notre Dame tickets. For a few years now, it's been an aspiration of mine to attend an ND game. I never dreamed I'd get to go see the Irish face Boston College in South Bend. Although I am quite keen on Notre Dame, now that I'm a vowed Jesuit I would have rooted for BC. However, I couldn't bring myself to do that at "the House that Knute Rockne built" and at my first ND game. It was close at the end, but the Irish pulled this one off. I had a great time.
- My beloved 16 year old pet frog Cal became ill after an earthquake hit Oklahoma. Thanks God the family and house were alright. That was almost a month ago, and although Cal is hanging on, he still hasn't recovered. Please do pray for him if you can, because I'd like to see him kicking for years to come. I am of course at peace, despite sadness, about his possible death. I've been blessed to have him this long.
- The women's religious life discernment group at Loyola has grown to include 9 women. They are such inspirational people, and they have so much going for them. Please pray for them too!
- I am really appreciating this philosophical education, and I can already feel my mind getting a little sharper. It is tough work, but I know it needs to be done, and it is worth doing.
- I am very much enjoying community life and have made many new friends. I am glad that I took vows (although by no means is this life easy!), because it is an extremely rewarding way of life for me. I can't begin to say the graces that I have experienced and been a part of in just the 4 months of vowed Jesuit life. It is priceless. Still, there is a cost, and every day (like marriage or any other major lifelong commitment) those vows must be renewed.
- On Dec. 3rd, the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, my Dad finished a flourishing career with the US Army Corps of Engineers as an attorney. He was the epitome of a virtuous, courageous lawyer, and his coworkers are really going to miss him. His family couldn't be prouder of him. Special note should be made of my Mom, without whom such a career could not have happened and would not have had the meaning. Clearly, they did it all for their children, and in that way I am continually reminded of Blessed John Paul II's call to the strengthening of families and the fundamental "cell" of society, on which its health is based. My parents are huge Fr. James Martin fans (a Jesuit author). I Facebooked Fr. Martin and asked him if he could send them an inscribed copy of his latest book about joy to them. He did, and my Mom and Dad were delighted to receive it.
- Being in Chicago is a real experience. It's a huge city with a lot of riches, not the least of which is beautiful lake next to campus. However, I am continually reminded of the suffering of many people here and the need for all of us to help build "the culture of life" (as Blessed John Paul II envisioned it). That is a mighty and never-ending task, but an imperative. For my little part, my ministry will be working both with retreats for the homeless and with faculty faith formation at our Jesuit middle school that serves the African-American community.
That's enough from me! Make sure I hear from you! God bless!