My random thoughts on life as I prepare to enter the religious life this summer. "In the first place, you must never think that you are alone in deciding your future! And second: When deciding your future, you must not decide for yourself alone!" -Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

St. Augustine, Pray for Us!

"God will not suffer man to have the knowledge of things to come; for if he had prescience
of his prosperity he would be careless; and understanding of his adversity he would be senseless."

You are Augustine!

You love to study tough issues and don't mind it if you lose sleep over them.
Everyone loves you and wants to talk to you and hear your views, you even get things like "nice debating
with you." Yep, you are super smart, even if you are still trying to figure it all out. You're also
very honest, something people admire, even when you do stupid things.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

thanks Just One Friar for the link.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Woo hoo, a New OP blog!

A brand new Dominican blog is up and running. Check it out! I'm sure you will recognize the young Friar's words. The site looks great.

Just One Friar

Seriously, an earthquake hit me in Illinois last night

Last night I was in bed and my whole room shook. It was like an explosion. It was the wildest thing. We thought maybe the sump pump had exploded. I didn't know for sure. I was a bit scared, but finally went to sleep. This morning I learned that last night the Joliet/Ottawa area had an earthquake!! A freaking earthquake?!
You have got to be kidding me.
A 4.5 Richter scale earthquake in Illinois?
At least we are all still alive.

Ok, I give you permission to laugh at me and my excessive dramatics over the five second ordeal.
Did you feel the earthquake?

Sunday, June 27, 2004

"Follow me." "Well, first let me...."

Our Gospel today shows how easy it is to put the call of the Lord on hold.

Luke 9:59-62.
To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." But he said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

How many times I thought in one year I'll be more mature. In one year, I'll have more life experience. In one year, I'll be able to make this easier for my family. In one year, I can read so many more books. In one year, I can see the world. In one year I..

He was calling now, how could I keep making excuses? Thankfully over time, through prayer, dialogue, and discernment I could give in. I could put my plans aside. If he was calling me today, I could no longer say, "Well, just wait a while and then I'll follow your call."
I must put my life in his hands today. I can't walk away.

Putting the call on hold.
I repeat a quote from Sr. Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, OP, the Vocation Director for the ever growing Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. The good sister says,, "More time for what? Time to decide; time to visit a multiplicity of convents or seminaries; time to get everything in perfect order including family, friends, long-range plans; you name it! I am more and more convinced that we ought to start a support group for those caught in this category the Perpetual Discerner Club."
Yes, yes, yes. Amen. I thought I was always going to be a member of the Perpetual Discerner's Club. Prayer was the thing that made me move. A little nudge moved me. Clearing up bogus obstacles I had put in the way moved me.

This situation reminds me of quotes from two priests I know:
"Sometime you have to just got off the fence." And "You can't keep postponing the inevitable."
Sister says we need a disciplined prayer life. I think this is the best bet. She says we should never give up. If you think you know the call is there, then embrace it.

"But imagine for a moment the immense transcendent joy of living the priestly vocation as 'another Christ' or the beautiful life of a woman who has been called to be a 'Spouse of Christ'! Who among us would ever feel worthy, prepared, ready?"
The truth is, we are not worthy, we can always make excuses, we can always be better. I think the best choice is to jump on the trail and follow as soon as it becomes clear. I think we owe the Lord the chance that the religious life/priesthood is our calling. He'll show us the way, we just need to be open.
I'm back. Vacation was great. I'll have more later.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

On Vacation.

I'm on vacation. Upper New York. Goodbye.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Congrats, New Deacon!

You know him as Meandering Seminarian.
He is now a meandering Deacon.
Check out the pics he's posted.

Two young men were raised to the priesthood this past weekend in the diocese of Des Moines. While I don't reside in that diocese, I tagged along with some friends. It was simply marvelous. If you haven't been to an ordination, I would highly recommend attending. It is so moving to see a guy give his yes to the Lord. At several points during the Mass, I got a bit teary eyed. I couldn't help but think how loving our God is that he calls people to the priesthood. I couldn't get over the fact that these young men where able to say yes in such a profound way. It is truly inspiring. Thank God for these young men!

I couldn't help but think that my journey starts in about a month. The novitiate is only the beginning, but I can end up where these two men ended up this weekend. How beautiful. I can't believe that it could be me in a few years. Our Lord has been way too good to me. He has showered His mercy upon me. I am not even worthy to untie his sandals, yet, he could be asking me to bring His very Body and Blood to the people of God! How amazing! We must remain open to what he is asking.

The Mass of Thanksgiving (AKA First Mass) was also very moving. It was great to see the new Father's face as he chanted the Mass for the first time. Oh! I wish you could have seen it. How beautiful. How wonderful. This is all made possible because of God's great grace. May we see in their witness something that inspires us to give our own yes. We can make it, if the Lord is truly calling us. May so many more answer the call.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Upcoming Posts

In order to keep myself on track for regular updates to this site, here are some topics I want to write about in the next few days:
1. The priesthood ordinations I attended this weekend in Iowa.
2. The priesthood and the Eucharist, as discussed by Cardinal George in his lecture at my school. How appropriate to post this now, as yesterday was Corpus Christi.
3. "The letter." The formal letter discussing the details of the pre-novitiate.
4. Clearing stuff out, shopping, and packing in preparation for leaving home.
5. The Devil.
I think that is it for now. I'll try to get something up here later.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Some More Pictures

Br. Andy over on the Central Province Novitiate webpage has posted pictures of their provincial tour. You can see the pictures here. Isn't this picture from the table pretty artsy? I'd say so. Check out the rest.

The Western Province also has online pics of their provincial tour.

Monday, June 07, 2004

I'm back from Ann Arbor, and I'm excited

I spent a few days in Ann Arbor. It was a wonderful trip. I visited my friend who is about to start at Ave Maria Law School. Ann Arbor is a wonderful city. I was able to visit the Domino's Pizza farm. They have a pretty nice church and adoration chapel on the premises. Ave Maria seems like a very fine school. I was expecting to find Dominican sisters on every corner in the city. Unfortunately, I missed them. Maybe next time.

My friend and I were able to spend some time with my future novice brother. He lives in that area. We had a wonderful time eating, walking around Ann Arbor, stopping in shops, raiding the bookstores, lounging in a coffee shop, and talking about our excitement for the novitiate. We laughed so much. It really was a fun night. Speaking with my future brother has caused me to get pretty excited for the upcoming novitiate. It was marvelous. I can't wait. Now I wait, pray, read, say goodbye, and get ready...44 days.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


Jerusalem Bible, Compact Edition, Leatherbound.

Your help in apprehending this Bible is greatly appreciated.
I tracked one down to England's Amazon. It never came. Now I turn to you.
Any information on this Bible's whereabouts, please e-mail me or leave a comment.
Monk Party and Religious Drinks

On Julie's website, she discusses having a "nun" party as part of her going away festivities.
In her comments section she writes,"I think you should have a Monk Party. What an opportunity to evangelize...and to disseminate the true history of beer...made by monks!"
Ok, ok, I'm not going to be a monk...but I'll be monk-ish.

Speaking of religious drinks, on the feast of the Pentecost, my last night in Dubuque, my good friends had religious drink night. Trappist Brew, Franciscan beer, and Christian Brother's brandy. It was a fine send off. We thank the religious for such a fine assortment. (Here at discernmentgroup, we like to remind you that moderatation is the key. Check out Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Book III for more info.)

Now, I'm back home, in the vicinity of Chicago. No more Trappists in my area. Oh, compline at the monastery! How beautiful!

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