Beginning my Summer Vacation

I flew from San Francisco to Cleveland yesterday, leaving sunny-and-cool Northern California for muggy and hot Cleveland. It's nice, however, to be home and I was so grateful to have had a chance to sleep in this morning and then go to the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist for Eucharist. I'm going to have a "Day of Introversion" which will allow me to pray and read my book before connecting with a friend for dinner tonight. Tomorrow I will head back to Detroit, with a short detour to Port Clinton, Ohio, to see (most) of my family who are on vacation there.

Having completed the Latin course, I overwhelmed with how tired I actually am. For nearly six straight weeks, I poured everything I had into my studies and trying to be the best student I could be. With relatively few distractions, I was able to stay focused on my task and now, after six weeks, I am pretty confident in my ability to at least tackle a primary text in Latin. To be sure, I need a good dictionary and I have to move at a frustratingly slow pace (Where's the verb? Oh my God, this doesn't look like anything I've ever seen before...hold on, maybe....).

I did a quick search on the web today and found a trove of resources in Latin. One of the sites had a letter written by Saint Thomas Aquinas to a certain Brother John. One of the bits of wisdom Thomas passes along made me laugh:

Cellam frequenter diligas, si vis in cellam vinariam introduci.

Now, I would translate this as, roughly, "Love to be in your room frequently if you should wish to be led into the wine cellar."

It's funny to me the way this can be taken. One homilist cited this and said that the "wine cellar" should be taken as heaven -- so, go to your room frequently (and, I should think, pray) if you want to go to heaven.

Having lived in religious community for nearly seven years and having read numerous reports and articles on the health and well-being of contemporary religious, I took this in a totally different way. I saw it as Aquinas recognizing the dangers of being isolated. Humans are, by nature, "social animals" and we will meet our needs for community either in healthy ways or by embracing the "liquid community" comprised of Jack and Johnny! 

With every new experience of Jesuit community, I can only say that I would never be able to embrace this life and my vocation were it not for the loving support of my brother Jesuits. Thus I am excited that I'll be heading up to Omena to celebrate the Feast of Saint Ignatius (7/31) with my fellow Companions of Jesus. I suspect Jack and Johnny will be there, too, but they won't be the center figure who draws us all together. 
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