When I was in college, I would sometimes call my high school religion teacher just to talk. We would cover a multitude of topics—academic pressures, dorm life, family, spiritual stuff, etc.—but it was mostly me just complaining about how hard my life was while he patiently listened and offered spiritual counsel. During the winter break of my senior year, I went to go see him and he gave me a tour of his rectory—he was a priest—which included a visit to his personal chapel next to the bedroom. Right there, next to the prie-dieu kneeler and before the tabernacle, was the telephone. He had been talking to me on the phone, on his knees, before the Blessed Sacrament.
Editorial Note: This excerpt is taken from an essay by the same name originally published at Church Life Journal on March 7, 2016.
The woman before us was frail, lying peacefully, unalert—a shadow of the fierce, intelligent, vivacious woman she had been. Her 95 years on this earth had been lived to the fullest. The years had not been without their trials and sufferings, but they had always been lived for God. With God as her lifesource, Joan radiated light, joy, and love to all whom she encountered. The time had come for God to let his good and faithful servant go in peace.
It was nearing the end of my sophomore year. I had a pretty similar life to everyone around me. I’d wake up in the morning earlier than what was healthy so I could get to my 7:30 AM class at my school 30 minutes away. My dad would usually have eggs and bacon ready for me by the time I was out of the shower and my mom always made me a smoothie that tasted exactly how it looked—like slop. I finished up classes for the day, and then came my favorite part of the day: hockey practice. Playing hockey was the one thing that got me through the school day because I never felt more free than when I was skating, with the cold air against my face while my feet glided across a smooth surface of ice.
Editorial note: This blog is the final installment in a six-part series featuring our free Lenten resource, "A Scriptural Pilgrimage to Christ Through Lent," written by Lenny DeLorenzo.
This is the end of the end and the beginning of everything else.