Another year in my life unfolds. It’s amazing what graces God have poured at the right time. Here is a rundown of the past year.
When I entered the seminary, I wanted to learn Latin, the language of the Church and the saints. That increased my course load to six classes per semester in the spring and the fall. Br. Brenden had asked me how I was able to handle it. I sometimes wondered about that. I still passed my classes. Recognition of Latin words and phrases improved. But academics took me away from community and I felt it deeply. A day off on Saturdays was so crucial. I’m grateful to take only five classes this semester.
My thesis idea came to life and almost died just as quietly. The summertime departure of a professor (and my possible thesis adviser) immediately raised questions about my thesis. Talks with other professors hit dead ends. But the Immaculata wanted this thesis because the busiest professor in the seminary agreed to advise me.
I learned plenty during my summer. But my biggest lesson was to trust in Jesus through the Immaculata. She never failed to come through. You can read about my summer vacation and my Denver adventures of Mary, service and outdoors. Confirmation students and First Saturday attendees benefit from the fruits of my Marian reflection.
In October, I was instituted as acolyte. I looked forward to reposing the Blessed Sacrament and setting up the altar during the Mass. But it was a joy to be acolyte to the pastor of my childhood parish of St. Teresa-St. Anthony during the Jan. 1 Mass for the feast of the Mother of God.
Looking back at my goals from last year, I see that they are still valid with a few tweaks.
Hang out with someone in my religious community twice a month. The previous goal was twice a week. Once again, two busy semesters (six classes each) had derailed this goal and the readjusted goal of grabbing a bite to eat once a month. There was a growing group desire this fall to grow together. A suggestion was made to randomly pair up with someone and hang out twice a month. I decided to make it a personal goal. Having a basic structure is better than nothing. When times get tough, we Oblates will need each other.
Plan the next day before bed. I was more consistent with this goal than the previous one. I reviewed my day planner during my examens (short prayer reflections twice a day). A brief check-in refocused on priorities and adjusted for interruptions. Toward the end of the fall semester, there was only two priorities: write and study. I didn’t bother much with hourly planning. But this would be a good habit to restart.