The Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus - a geographic area covering Michigan and most of Ohio - publishes a supplement to Company Magazine entitled Companions. The Fall edition carries reflections offered by me and two of my classmates on the occasion of the profession of our first vows. Below is my reflection:
I learned to play Irish music by imitating the great masters of the tradition. Sitting at their feet, I would watch how they breathed, how they kept time, how they expressed themselves through their tunes. Over time, I found my own voice in the tradition and realized that I, too, had something to contribute; I realized that what I had received from those who had come before me demanded that I respond by passing down our musical heritage to the next generation.
Professing vows mirrors my experience with music. Having come to know God through the love shown to me by my family and friends, and particularly through the influence of my Jesuit teachers and mentors, I felt deep within my heart an invitation to "come and see" as a member of the Society of Jesus. I am grateful to be allowed to pledge my life to the upbuilding of God's kingdom on earth, and I am humbled to stand in the shadow of a long tradition of masters - Ignatius, Xavier, Faber, Robert Bellarmine, Karl Rahner, Walt Farrell, Howard Gray - from whom I have learned so much. For it is these men who I can now claim as my brothers, who have empowered me to find my own voice in the Jesuit tradition, they who have encouraged me to pass down our religious heritage to another generation, these men who have shown by their lives how one might live as a Companion of Jesus.