Well, I’m in the home stretch. I went through the Christmas season as a seminarian; I guess at a certain level, I don’t count as one until a few weeks from now when I’m actually registered at the seminary, but I’m going to go ahead and call myself that, anyway.
Christmas was nice. My parents continue to drive me a bit crazy. I guess that comes with the territory after living on my own for over 10 years followed by moving back into their basement for a few weeks. Compouding that, they now live in a place that makes Mulberry, Florida look like the world’s most exciting metropolis. I’ve driven around the bulk of Macon County (where they live), and I am fairly confident in my count of two traffic lights in the entire county. The bishop advised me last night that I should not use the word “boring” to describe the area. Instead, he suggested describing it as “quaint.” I think it is safe to say that, at the very least, Red Boiling Springs ranks among the most quaint places, if not at least tied for the single most quaint place in the country.
I have been thinking about my life and where it is going. Fr. O’Doherty, my long time confessor and spiritual director, gave me a penance/prayer to pray each morning: “Lord, Grant that I may no longer live, but that you may live in me.” I am quite aware that the prayer is directly inspired by Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Anyway, I’ve been considering that for the last few days. I’m 33 years old, now – as of last November. It has been an interesting reflection that, in many ways, I have been putting my old life to death since that birthday. I quit my job; I left my home; I am setting things up to begin a new life – a life hopefully based on Christ living in me. That’s the plan, anyway. It’s what I’m trying to do. The reason this struck me recently is that I’m starting this path at the same age that Jesus died. Now, to be clear, I am not equating myself to Jesus. It’s just something that struck me. At a certain level, God has granted that prayer at the age that his own son died.
In a few short days, I will be heading out of Tennessee and on to New Orleans to begin formation. As of now, I still don’t really know anything of what I will be doing there, but I am looking forward to the journey (and admittedly a bit afraid of it). It’s going to be an adventure, but 2011 should be a challenge.
Moving along, I hope my reader will look here often. My goal is to document a great deal of my journey through formation and (God-willing) to priesthood. This may end up being interesting to only me, but it is a place to record thoughts and experiences.