“when we are honest and vivid and particularin describing what is mostpersonal and important in life, we can summon universal and redemptive places at thevery edge of words. In Collegeville we didso in the act of engaging religious difference.”–Krista Tippett, Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters — And How to Talk About It
My time here at Collegeville is drawing to a close. I’m a little sad about that.
Saying good-bye to strangers who became beloved friends
is like a feeling a skin of ice forming over a body of deep blue water.
The lovely thing about ice and hearts is that the water remains as the ice comes and goes.
Even in our brief time together, we resident scholars connected under the surface,
to the deepest wells of our being.
We did so through worship, study, conversation, and much shared food and drink.
We made friends across a spectrum of Christian traditions.
And also the spectrum of age.
Take my young friend Jess, above, for example.
A Catholic educated in the Jesuit tradition, both at Santa Clara University and Boston College, Jess has been my teacher in two approaches to vocation among the laity in the Catholic tradition.
The Benedictine approach, we are learning here at Collegeville together.
The Jesuit approach, centered in Ignatian spirituality, is what drew her into the vocation of studying and teaching theology.
She was part of a vocational discernment project called the Discover Program at Santa Clara University as an undergraduate.
She remembered seeing this delightful video and answering the three questions in it while engaged in a
community of students and faculty who were discerning vocation together.
The video takes 30 minutes, but well worth the time if you have it.
If you don’t, here’s a transcript to skim.
And here are the three important questions about vocation that transcend age:
1) Is this a source of joy?
2) Is this something that taps into your talents and gifts and uses them in the fullest way possible?
3) Is this role a genuine service to the people around you, to society at large?
Notice that the first question is one of joy.
I felt an immediate kinship between the vocational search Jess has been on and my own lifelong search culminating in Jubilación.
As Jess and I discussed our respective vocational journeys, we did indeed summon what Krista Tippett has called
the universal and redemptive places at thevery edge of words.