Over this semester, five of my brother seminarians and I as well as Fr. Joe, our vice rector here at the seminary, have been preparing for a half marathon. Well, tomorrow morning is the big day! To be honest, its quite intimidating right now, even though I have complete faith in the training that I have accomplished up until this point. It will be a joyful relief to cross that finish line tomorrow!
The seven of us from here at Bishop Simon Brute will be running with T-Shirts that promote vocations to the priesthood, religious life, married life, and a chaste single life. There is a group of over 250 people from the Indianapolis area that will be running for this same intention. However, for me, I have a number of other intentions that I will focus on in addition to this.
Three or four weeks ago was our 12 mile training run, which is the longest distance before the marathon itself. I ran by myself that day, and I was not expecting to be able to run the entire time. As I ran the first mile, though, I came up with an idea: I would offer up the pain, particularly towards the end of the run, for the repose of my grandpa’s soul, who passed away in July of last year <https://ahess2012.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/john-hess/>. I have done this ever since, and tomorrow, I add other family members who have died: Steven Hess, Michael Hess, and Mary Neace.
Finally, this past Wednesday, we were given the tragic news that the 19 year old brother of one of the seminarians here from Indianapolis died in a drowning accident. It has been a difficult shock not only for his family but also for our family here at Brute. It hurts to think of the suffering of any of our brothers here; no matter how much we can get on each other’s last nerves, living so closely together creates a love and brotherhood that is beyond what I expected coming into this place two years ago. However, we take consolation and hope in the fact that we live for a merciful God, and we pray in faith and hope that he takes mercy on this young man’s soul, that he may come in full union with Christ and the Beatific Vision. Therefore, my final prayer intention for this half marathon is for Thomas Herring and the repose of his soul.
For all of you reading this, I understand that most if not all of you will not be running a half marathon or doing anything physically challenging. I do offer you a challenge: find some mundane task in your ordinary life (washing dishes, the stress of running behind, the nagging and complaints of our family, whatever you may think of) and offer that one moment in prayer, whether it be for my intentions, your own intentions, or for all of humanity. It may be a very short time, but God is not asking for hours upon hours of prayer in a church. Granted, this would be wonderful, but it is almost completely impossible. Rather, He calls us to pray and reach out to him in all that we do, in our ordinary lives. You don’t have to go out of your way to pray; it just takes the thought and the willingness to open to the graces available through openness to Him.
My dearest Jesus, as I embark on this challenge, I offer up all of the struggles, the pain, the annoyances, and the time to You. I ask that through us, You may make known the holiness of our individual vocations and the discernment it takes to discover them. I also ask through the intercession of your blessed mother, Mary, Queen of the Saints, and Saints Phillip and James, whose feast we celebrate tomorrow, for the repose of the souls of my family – John Hess, Michael, Steven, and Mary – as well as that of Thomas Herring. May we all go about doing everything with the intent of bringing about your greater glory. Amen.
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
such a way as gives us breath,
such a truth as ends all strife,
such a life as killeth death.