Monday, February 28, 2011


And the minutes are ticking, hustled into life and its business when what would really be nice is for everything to just freeze. I could go and read, or sit, or walk, or pray, or any combination. I could hike, I could dance, I could feel the ease of being in a simpler way, unencumbered by challenges to find personal growth in a different context and a different rhythm of life. I could sit in the verdant pasture, rested, protected, and reality would be exactly the way I'd wish it were in these moments: far more tailored to the needs I think I have in the way I think is best. If the years wouldn't perform their terrible dance; if all our friends were together again; if new friends could come, too; if all of life were more like the summers of joy and bliss that I experienced in 05, 06, and 07...that feeling of life being right, wouldn't things be better off?

I only work five hours a day and I feel encumbered. I don't generally have to wake up early or challenge my body, yet I'm exhausted. Vitamin deficiency is probably a player in all of this.

I suppose that just as life before Peru offered me a host of lessons, and my time in Peru gave me the chance to essentially have a clean slate, a way to reinvent myself, or go deeper into discovering who I am, life after Peru offers a host of lessons.

One of those is about poverty. I went to Notre Dame for a couple days to interview for their Masters of Divinity program and had the chance to hear them talk about Metz's "Poverty of Spirit." Embracing poverty can take many forms, whether it be in embracing one's finite nature, or in embracing God's infinite love, or in embracing one's handicaps, or in embracing one's ability and necessity to overcome those handicaps. To embrace it is to welcome the true human interaction, to be poor is to...well, be the richest and fullest you'll ever be capable of being.

I guess that's my chief struggle at the moment: surrendering everything. Video games can be a vice for me, and I might start playing them obsessively when I feel out of control, dissatisfied, or experiencing desolation. I can tell when I'm playing the console for that tiny little bit of control, or when I'm eating because it elicits some rudimentary form of interaction that I, me, Miguel, have initiated. Stopping is the next hump, I suppose. And...offering it up. Stopping is well and fine, but I guess there's that mentality that needs to change, too. The bottom line is that I'm not in control of much, but the challenge doesn't lie in seeing that, but in accepting it and, most of all, trusting that it's okay and that there are larger forces at work than just what I can see. That's poverty as I need it: surrender of that concept unto which I can cling ever so fiercely and aggressively that I am independent, self-sufficient, ought to be, and that who I truly am is something that much change in order to earn love, be it God's, my girlfriend's, my friends', my own.

I doubt it will be easy, but I'm on my way. Learning patience was a key thing. I can tell other people to have it, and I will work harder to exercise it on myself.

There was a moment this past week in which I thought about all the things I saw and strive in which to believe. I was surprised to weave through trying to envision love, or poverty, or humility, or trust, and found that a person awaited me at the end of all of it. There wasn't some intangible idea or word phrase that stood as the end result or motivation or example of the Christian life. It was a strange moment of knowing beyond any Thomist or Aristotelian logic's grasps that there was a certain necessity for Christianity to be an encounter with a person. It's like B-XVI said: it's not the result of a lofty moral choice or an idea. I guess this is all kind of "Well, duh!" stuff, but to truly experience it, to KNOW it, is much different than to spout it out.

This is as close as I'll get to a "State-Side" update for the time being.

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