After nearly 12 days in North Carolina with my family, I find myself back in the familiar (and very cold) confines of Wilmington, Delaware, refreshed and ready for another fives months of whatever the Postulancy has to offer. While at home, I spent most of the mornings/afternoons relaxed on the couch, either in front of the t.v. watching mediocre college football games or re-runs of my favorite show, 30 Rock, or catching up on a little reading and journaling. The highlight of the break was definitely the time I got to spend with my whole family playing games such as Monopoly, Spades, Cranium, and Yatzee, winning all of them of course (except for the ones I lost).
Besides relaxation and fellowship, I had also mentioned before that this would be a great time for reflection and discernment as it would most definitely bring to light the differences between the life I once had and the life I’ve recently adopted. In this way, the break did not disappoint. Though I didn’t come to any earth-changing realizations, I left my house yesterday reconfirmed in my decision to join the friars and actually a bit excited to return to Wilmington (a truly preposterous statement if you’ve ever lived a block from I-95 in Wilmington!) Here are a few of the things that I came to realize that probably influenced these sentiments:
Community prayer is important to me. In the five months since I moved to Delaware, I think I missed Morning prayer, Evening prayer, and Mass a total of ten times, all but one of those times due to traveling constraints. Praying multiple times a day in community became sort of second nature to me, a “habit” if you will. It wasn’t until I went home and forced myself to restrain from praying the Office or going to daily mass that I realized, however, that it was much more than just a programmed behavior: community prayer is a critical part of my spiritual life. Sure, I went to Mass on Sunday, and I prayed frequently over break, but I knew that something was missing.
The friars have subtly become my “other” family. For all in my immediate and extended family reading this, don’t think that I’m in any way saying that there has been a replacement of feelings from you to them! Those in my family will always have that special relationship. But having lived together now for five months, praying, learning, traveling, and working with each other, it’s hard not to see that new, intimate relationships have begun to form. I found myself on break thinking, “I miss those guys,” and “I’m excited to go back and see everyone,” in a way that somewhat resembles, but feels ultimately different than the feeling I had upon returning to college each year. It took a little time away for me to realize that these guys had subtly become my brothers.
For now, I think I’ll leave it at that. I spent some time reflecting on a few other unrelated things, but in the interest of space and organization, I’ll leave those topics for another day. Our next adventure begins Thursday afternoon when we travel down to Maryland for the Formation Intercession, a meeting of all the Holy Name Province students. It should be a great opportunity to look ahead in the formation process and hear from those in years two through five about their experiences along the way.
As a last note, thanks to all those I saw over break that shared such reaffirming words about the blog. I try not to get caught up in the comments or page statistics, but it is nice to hear that it’s more than just a tool to organize my thoughts. Thank you for all of your support along the way!