It’s all thematic: halloween, souls, treats, brothers…..

So, here on All Hallows Eve….happy Halloween!

But on THIS particular All Hallows Eve, I’ve got soul formation on my mind and heart.  I like to think thats a bit more thematic than simply my usual grasping for what candy I can snag and coax from my little cute trick or treating kiddos.  So, indulge me a moment….

This past weekend we had our one and only OFFICIAL visit up at the Novitiate with my eldest son.  My Chris.  My Brother Peter Joseph.

We all piled into two cars, texted directions to my Jon so he could drive down from campus and meet us too, and six hours later the whole family was together again for the first real official visit since July and the last time til next August.  It was wonderful.  And the added benefit was that we got to get to know a little bit of our new larger family: the Dominican brothers of my son…thus, in a small way, my new sons too.  (They like to eat the cookies I send, and that’s good enough for me!).

I have much to say about the visit {I know what a surprise}…but I’m tired and processing all the big emotions plus am buried in laundry and chores of re-entry (and, um, Halloween traditions).

So, until I can coherently sort out my thoughts, I want to leave you this.  It’s a little phone video, lifted from the Novice blog of Father Benedict…and because he’s such a great nice guy I don’t think he’ll mind.  The link is worth checking out too, because he’s got all kinds of interesting stuff up there and also, often, pictures of my son and his new brothers.  Now, I don’t want you to think they only sit around in cafeterias and bang around on the banjo – this was a special night and they were trying to keep us parental types entertained and happy.  They succeeded!

But, they are doing serious work up there.  They do have fun and laugh a lot too.  But, in fact, they are doing the most important work, and it’s utterly apropos to this day: they are forming their souls.  Today is the eve of all saints.  And these  young men are discerning God’s call to them in an intentional, prayerful, mindful manner.  And it’s hard work.  It’s because they aspire to become saints.  Now, I do too.  I just am much more distracted about it and keep stumbling along that long road…but we are all called to it…so to see these thirteen  young men live it, really, is inspiring and makes me cry.  Happily for us all, I was sitting to the rear left of Father Benedict so you can’t really hear me wrassle Gabey or snuff up my tears when my Peter Joseph sings and plays his guitar.  But, I did.

Roll away your Stone, by Mumford and Sons.
Cover, performed by Brother Peter Joseph and Brother Timothy
for Parents Weekend ‘talent night’ in St. Gertrude’s Cafeteria.
Thanks Father Benedict for the video (and allowing my shameless lift)
“Roll away your stone, I’ll roll away mine
Together we can see what we can find
Don’t leave me alone at this time,
For I am afraid of what I will discover inside
You told me that I would find a home,
Within the fragile substance of my soul
And I have filled this void with things unreal,
And all the while my character it steals
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
It seems as if all my bridges have been burned,
You say that’s exactly how this grace thing works
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart,
But the welcome I receive at the restart
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
Stars hide your fires,
And these here are my desires
And I will give them up to you this time around
And so, I’ll be found with my stake stuck in this ground
Marking its territory of this newly impassioned soul
And these here are my desires
And I will give them up to you this time around
And so, I’ll be found with my stake stuck in this ground
Marking its territory of this newly impassioned soul
But you, you’ve come too far this time
You have neither reason nor rhyme
With which to take this soul that is so rightfully mine.”

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