Saturday’s morning was still ongoing as the men’s session finished with a different yet absolutely perfect way of ending or starting, depending on how you look at it.
Sean Forrest had us band together as brothers, inviting the Holy Spirit as we prayed in circles that we formed, our hands on each others’ shoulders. Intimidating? You bet it was. Our unity however, was what gave us the strength to continue onward. As iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens fellow man.
I was tempted to jump up and kind of cheer when he mentioned that verse, because I love that. There is so much truth in those words. We tend to form based on who we surround ourselves with, and so that united prayer was a rare moment of true strength in the face of every negative influence seen back home.
At this point, it was lunchtime, and I made my way towards partaking of a quick meal so I’d be in time for the Senior Workshop. I was still munching on an apple as I sat down next to Annie, Liam, and a few other of my Saint Gertrude friends in the… room near the aerobics room. It was upstairs, that’s all I remember. Have you ever tried quietly eating an apple? It’s… not quite successful. What made it funny was that a person in the row ahead of me was also munching an apple. We locked gazes as we both noticed the (not so silent) crunchy eating noises emanating from the other’s direction, then we started laughing. Apples: scaring doctors and making people meet.
The talk was focused on life after high school, something I’m positive many of the gathered – myself included – were unsure of. The point: we needed a battle strategy for remaining true to our faith as Catholics through college and beyond.
We have two rather different mindsets we experience at certain ages: Passionate and Rational; the former being from about 18 to 25, and the latter being all the years beyond.
In our passionate stage, we tend to be more… formative or susceptible to strong feeling, especially if we are bombarded by it constantly. These feelings may not be very deep, but they can affect us greatly if we are not careful.
As mimetic creatures, always imitating what we are exposed to, whether aware of it or not, we needed a good community, among other things.
So, three things to look for in college, especially for those who had yet to choose:
– A good curriculum that speaks the truth
– [Solid] Catholic Professors who teach what is good, right, and just.
– Fellow students who help us form correctly, Catholic or not, though obviously the former is helpful in keeping one accountable to the faith.
By this point, I’d already chosen a college close to home, so I did listen, but took more careful note of the first and last, with the understanding that most teachers I will have will be secular, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
I know they will leave impressions on me however, and it is for this reason that I need that guiding force found in the teachings of the Church (e.g. the Catechism) to keep me firmly planted. Going back to what I learned from Eagle Eye, those teachings as well as the good sense that my parents provide (imperfect as they may be at times, God bless them) will serve to make me that flowing river, or that tomato plant that is ever directed upward, reaching for the sky. I will take what I can, and appropriate those truths.
And yet, as Chris said, that preparation is never finished… it’s our lifetime’s journey in growth. A growth for all things living. Just our human nature.
Those were the main points of the talk, the rest was about personal stewardship and also taking care to avoid debt if possible (which also falls under stewardship I realize). It wouldn’t be worth it, and while God can make good out of bad, I doubt debt is something He’d require of us in order to reach our truest vocations. Just a good thing for me personally to keep in mind when I consider my path.
Part of me wants to keep writing the next bit, but I realize that such a long post might lead to utter confusion, so in the interest of keeping things simple, consider this the second of… maybe five!
TBC – M