Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Expectation of August

We have arrived at the beginning of August 2015. These are the "dog days" of summer.

In the United States of America, however, August -- notwithstanding its blazing heat, humidity, and haze, and its buzzing cicadas high in the trees -- has become back-to-school-month. Almost all schools start up in August, and kids have to start thinking about cramming in their summer assignments and getting their gear together.

For us, this particular August heralds a great transition in the family. By the middle of the month, we'll be packing John Paul off to college.

Granted, he's going to Christendom College, which is only a few miles down the road from his high school alma mater. He won't be far away, and he will be entering into one of the great formative experiences of his life.

We also know that he will have good companions, and that Jesus will remain at the center of his college experience. I have no illusions about the human fragility and limitations of this college. I also know its value. I devoted years of my life (and quite a bit of my health) to help build it up into what it is today.

What is most important, however, is that at its foundation the college has a charism. Jesus touches hearts and changes them in that place, and the grace of the Holy Spirit nurtures and brings growth to seeds already planted.

It's a bumpy road, with zigs and zags and holes and dust. Of course. It's made by human beings. But it's a road. It's a pilgrimage route and it's going in the right direction. It leads to the juncture of further roads, to the journey of adulthood.

Sometimes people lose their way on routes that lead nowhere (again, human beings). Still they have been given some sense of what the journey of life is seeking, and they have friends who can help them remember.

And Jesus is there.

Christendom College library (see website