About a week ago, another Jesuit (Props to Kyle!) and I discussed the blog forum. He encouraged me to be more controversial, to stir things up a bit. And, to be honest, there's a great part of me that does indeed wish to tackle some of the more contentious issues that face the Church and the modern believer/disbeliever today.
My desires stated, however, I am faced with the all-too-real knowledge that, regardless of what I say or don't say, not only I but the Society of Jesus will be judged for what I write. It is often very difficult to separate "a" speaker from an entire organization...critics of the Society of Jesus (since I'm most familiar with these critiques) will often hold up one particular Jesuit who says something that displeases them and then extrapolate his words and paint the whole of the Society with his brush. Not only is this not fair, but it is not charitable.
These websites can be a great tool for evangelization. I should like to think that others have learned something of me and of themselves by reading my musings over the past two years. I chuckle (and smack my head) when I read my early posts...they were insane! But with the prayer and experiences of the novitiate I think that I grew and matured enormously and what has emerged on these pages has been a genuine, sincere, and sometimes humorous attempt at articulating my experiences.
Nevertheless, I am bound by the knowledge that I have a public forum and that I must be careful in offering opinions about issues. It would do no one any good for me to bring shame or discredit to the Society or to the Church just so that I could shoot my mouth off.
It is a privilege to share my journey with others. Probably more often than I'd like, I post inane and trivial details about my days and weeks. But our lives are not made up of profound spiritual moments and realizations...they are, instead, mostly filled with the humdrum of our daily martyrdom, a silent living-toward-death that brings us slowly and inevitably toward the cross and to the horizon of our lives. I just have the tool (and audacity) to make these daily walks public.
So I thank you for reading and I thank you for praying. I believe because I pray. Each night I bring a battered heart to prayer and pray for a soothing balm; each morning I rise and give thanks for another day that I have to walk as a Companion of Jesus. If my blog has had any thread of success, perhaps it has invited people to think of their own relationship with God, invited them to question how they live their live, invited them to ask, "What does God want for me in this life?" Where do you find the greatest joy in life; where do you find excitement and love and life? Follow that light and do not be afraid to do so! Perhaps that is what I wish most to share with others and this blog is an entrance into the day-to-day (ideally!) journey of following Christ as a member of the Society. I recognize that "my" story isn't "your" story but maybe, just maybe, it will give someone courage to embark on a new chapter, or book, of his or her own tale.
Tomorrow I go to Cleveland for "Lukas Fest '06." Lukas Laniauskas, nSJ is professing his first vows (the same ones I professed last month) in the Society of Jesus on Saturday. Please keep him in your prayers.