Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Principle #3: Keep in Contact

Principle #3: Keep in Contact

Something that I have found terrifically helpful in working with candidates to the Society of Jesus is something we take for granted: the cell phone. Actually, not the phone so much as the text message. When I'm at basketball games, or football games, or soccer, hockey, bowling or swimming, I can seize the few moments between plays/quarters/periods/heats to send a quick text message to one or more candidates. This can be as simple as, "Hey there, how're things?" or "Just a quick note to let you know that I'm praying for you." When I lived in New York, some of the best evenings I spent with college students were the result of spontaneous texts that said, "Hey, want to grab a slice of pizza?" or "Want to grab a beer?"

Very often, I don't have to say, "How's discernment going." I simply need to make myself present, to let that person who is discerning know that I am out there, that I am thinking about him, and that I do care. Emails, phone calls, and birthday cards do this to no small extent. But I think there's something very helpful about the immediacy of the text message, a quick "jolt" that reminds a guy that he's not alone in his discernment process.

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