So I should probably start by explaining my blog title. I have struggled with whether or not I have a vocation to priestly or religious life and my family knows this. Whenever I get dressed up or look clean-shaven my mom always tells me, "What a waste..."
I know she means well. It is funny, though sometimes she doesn't laugh as much as I would like when she says it, but hey what can I do about that. Nothing. (Insert raspberry noise or fart noise here).
This summer I read Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, which I thought was written so well, but I hated most of her ideas and philosophy. I did love the characters especially Fransisco D'Anconia and Ragnar Danneskjöld, they were just really cool. A traveling pseudo-playboy and a philosopher pirate... wow just awesome.
So the story hit me like the Taggart Comet going full speed on beautiful metallic blue Rearden Steel (which if you haven't read it, that is very fast!).
Reading about Dagny not being able to stay at Galt's Gulch, the place where she could truly be herself, because she was holding on to her company, Taggart Transcontinental, her last connection to the world, was exactly what I needed to hear in my life at that moment. Especially the way Ayn Rand described Hank Rearden's enlightenment moment is how I felt on August 15th, 2009 in Syracuse, New York at the First Vow weekend for the Society of Jesus. All I kept hearing from the Jesuits was, "It is all about falling in love with Jesus."
"Then- even though it was only a sentence he had heard all his life- he felt a deafening crash within him, as of a steel door dropping open at the touch of the final tumbril, the one small number completing the sum and releasing the intricate lock, the answer uniting all the pieces, the questions and the unsolved wounds of his life." -Atlas Shrugged, by: Ayn Rand
The only question that was/is left in my mind was, "Why wouldn't I become a Jesuit?"
I still don't have an answer... Thank God!
Fast forward to today. I have been taking Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, volunteering with the Sisters of Life and the Franciscan of the Renewal, I have an internship, am going to grad school to get a MSW and most importantly, I have a prayer life.
And my last Ayn Rand quote:
"Francisco, what's the most depraved type of human being?"
"The man without a purpose."
The possibility of becoming a Jesuit has given me purpose. I have started to change my life so that I might be a better candidate because now I have some idea of what God wants me to do with my life. The best part is that I haven't changed into something different, I just took away all the stuff that wasn't me.
So why a Jesuit and a Hope addict?
I think they are two in the same. I have worked with homeless populations before, and people suffering with addiction, I have some people in my life who suffer with addictions. I do not know anyone who conquerors addiction daily without hoping. Hoping for a better future, hoping for a better way to live, hoping to be free from their addiction just for one day.
As a Jesuit, I do not think one can live a daily life of following Jesus Christ without hope.
"I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head.
I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.
I hope I can make it across the border.
I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand.
I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams.
-The last lines of the Shawshank Redemption.
I hope the Society of Jesus will accept me.
I hope that this is God's will for my life.
I hope to fall in love with Jesus more and more everyday.
I hope never to kick my hope addiction until I get to heaven.