Friday, July 13, 2007

Living in a New World

This entry is being posted "posthumously." Pat wrote this before he entered the Dominicans, and we're just now getting the chance to put it up (that's what happens when you don't have the Internet for a long while). Enjoy!

-------------

So the time is close at hand when I am going to leave the world and enter the rest of my life. On July 6, I officially begin my postulancy with the St. Joseph Province Dominicans. While this time is quickly approaching, I have had a great deal of time to reflect on my future thanks in part to my participation in the walk thus far.

One amazing thing that I've come to understand a lot better is that through my entrance into the Dominicans, it is not so much that I'm leaving the world, but rather that I'm entering into something so beautiful. My future is now beginning moreso than the current stage of my life is ending. Thus, when I leave Washington, DC to fly to Providence, RI, it won't be so much that I'll be leaving, but rather that I'll be arriving. There's a shift in the mindset that's required to really understand what I'm trying to say. It's all about trying to find the joy rather than the sorrow of this new stage in my life.

This is what the gift of self is about. It is giving that we receive. So too is it with giving away one's life to the Church as a priest or religious. Through the offering of one's life for the sake of the Kingdom, you begin to step into a new look at how heaven functions. Through your denial of self, you begin to understand what you are to receive in the end. Now, being that I haven't entered yet, I can only speculate about this, but I would venture to believe that this idea is true, especially since it's a main force behind John Paul the Great's Vita Consecrata and his section on "Celibacy for the Sake of the Kingdom" in his Theology of the Body.

Moreover, this principle extends to others as well. By a family member or a friend celebrating the entrance of another into religious life, they get a chance to actually sample heaven as well. Through their denial of their desires to spend time with the person, they come to more fully understand just how God is the goal of life. Through their sight of the person entering for a life of communion simply with God, they too get to experience God and come to more fully understand that heaven is all about union with the Lord. Thus, their gift of their own desires over to the Lord also allow them to receive a great grace – a better understanding of heaven, of the Eschaton!

So please pray for me as I continue to prepare for my postulancy, and join me in this gift of self. Please offer your desires to spend time with me over to the Lord so that you too might come to an even more beautiful understanding of the religious life and of heaven.

In Christ and St. Dominic,
Pat

No comments:

Who we are?

Every summer we, the Missionaries of the Eucharist, are walking from Lewiston, Maine to Washington, DC to proclaim the beauty of the Catholic faith to everyone we meet, specifically through the Theology of the Body.

Conversion begins in our own hearts,which is why prayer is so important to our ministry. For this reason, everyday of our ten week walk begins with daily Mass. By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we are given the grace to be the Love of Christ not only to those in our community but also to those we meet in the streets.

We walk throughout the day to be a witness of love. We are grounded in prayer-we pray with our lips, our hearts, and our bodies. In walking an average of twenty-five miles per day, we offer our fatigue as a gift of love to Christ and the people we meet. Our walking is both sacrifice and prayer.