Sometimes it does start with a feeling. My journal entry from November 17, 1987 reads "At midnight tonight I was lightly touched about my calling to enter a religious community ... it seems I finally found a direction." On November 18, the journal reads, "Last night I believe I finally heard the call to a vocation to an order." The entry for November 19 reads, "This afternoon, I drove downtown to St. Xavier Church and found one brochure on Jesuits USA, the last one. I sat in church and read it entirely. Back home, I wrote to Chicago to send me some information on formation." That was twenty years ago. What has happened since? A splendid time: months of prayer, struggle, anticipation, friendships, and spiritual confirmation. Til eventually the Lord led me to actually enter the Jesuits. Since then: more prayer, building relationships and defining the Self, conforming Myself to Himself. Service. More prayer and lots of desire. Experiments coupled with direction and discernment. Pronouncing public witness to the 3 vows. Engaging in a lot of studying. Later, teaching, then preaching. A lot of moving and leaving. Poland. Bolivia. Peru. Mexico. All started twenty years ago with a feeling! Who knew? Then ordination: the change! The devotion and the donation. Being called by you to speak of Him and bring Him near. Being unworthy yet highly favored. Baptizing. Forgiving. Wedding. Taking. Blessing. Breaking. Sharing. Man I wish I could do this better. Right now He has sent me to help others hear the call and respond. Now, I'm the one to receive requests for information on formation. Sometimes I mail out brochures; always I send out prayers. I've got a feeling this is what the Lord had in mind. As far as my journal goes, I wish I could visit it more than I do. Now I write not in pencil on journal pages but in binary on blogs and walls. But no matter where I write it, it's good to jot something down whenever I've got a feeling.
Last month I had my vocation story inserted into the pages of our province website. It is a little condensed into three paragraphs. Maybe one day I'll write a book. Meantime ... blogs.