Catching Up With My Life
Someone asked me the other day if I was still celebrating the Red Sox’s World Series victory. I told her that I haven’t really had time (but I did get my t-shirt!). The truth is that I haven’t had time for much extra lately, thus the silence here on the blog. It’s been hard even to let the reality of “deaconhood” sink in, despite the fact that I have been serving as a deacon at a number of masses lately. And, I’m preparing to preach at my parish’s 9:30 Mass next weekend, which I’m looking forward to, despite the challenge of the pre-Advent apocalyptic readings! What else have I been doing, you ask? Well there is the normal business of attending classes and doing homework. I have a thesis proposal due in two and a half weeks that I’m working on. I’m also in the midst of writing PhD applications for programs in moral theology/theological ethics (I’m applying to Princeton, Notre Dame, Duke and Boston College, each of which are pretty different, but all of which hold unique advantages for the work I’m interested in and the pace at which I want to complete my studies [fast!]). For that I had to take the GREs for the first time in 15 years! Back in the old days, we actually took them on paper, so I had to adjust to the computerized version. I also had to request transcripts from all my previous schools, hopefully for the last time! Then there is the small matter of thinking about the various details connected with my ordination as a priest in 7 months! So, as you can guess, my mind is very much on things of the future. But I still have plenty of ministry responsibilities and homework that I have to take care of in the now. In the midst of this, I have just taken on a couple of new people for spiritual direction, which could be just another thing, but is actually a great blessing because I enjoy it so much. There are few things as rewarding as journeying with someone else in their relationship with God. Oh the amazing things God is doing with people, right under our very noses!
Despite the busyness, I am thankful because it forces me to be motivated and focused on things that will allow me to better serve God and his people which, ultimately, is what it’s all about. And, though it’s going to be a lot of work, I’m really excited about my thesis project which will examine various theological perspectives on the experience of abandonment from the individual experience of feeling abandoned by God, to the abandonment experienced by people in the various genocides of the last century, to the abandonment experience of Jesus himself. This will all serve as a foundation for asking the question: What responsibilities do we as Christians have to those who are abandoned? The project is in its early stages, but I think it will be very worthwhile, even if its likely not to arrive at a single definitive answer. This is in part inspired by a very interesting course I’m taking at Harvard this semester on the
As for those PhD applications, I know I’m aiming high, applying to what are considered to be among the best programs. So, your prayers that I at least be accepted to one or two of the four would be appreciated! I know it’s a little early, but if I don’t have an opportunity to write again before then (the Thanksgiving recess is an important time for working on papers)—Happy Thanksgiving!