Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Change of Scene

When I'm away at school it's easy to get to Mass, go to Adoration, pray the rosary, etc. . . where I study I'm blessed to be surrounded by a strong group of Catholic friends who are equally passionate about the Faith and really support one another in living out the Catholic Faith. In addition to this, the Archdiocese I live in has regular events for young adults and many opportunities for us to get together with Catholic friends from different parishes throughout the Archdiocese.

When I'm away at school it's not uncommon to go to Adoration with friends in the middle of the night, go to morning Mass with a handful of my peers, or go for rosary walks with some of my closest girlfriends. While I'm at university I live literally a few houses away from the nearest Catholic church. I live closer to the church than the priest! I can literally role out of bed and be at Mass in three minutes from when I wake-up (ok, so I've tried this a few times. . .). Let's face it, when I'm away at school it's convenient and relatively easy to lead an active spiritual life. I've got friends to pray with, easy access to daily Mass, and a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament in the Catholic college I attend.

That being said, I'm not at school right now. While I'm still able to get to daily Mass (most days) and I've been trying to maintain my prayer life, over the past month I've realized that it takes a lot more effort when I'm away from the supportive community I'm used to, when I'm the only person in my age group at Mass, when I don't have friends around who would love to go to Adoration or pray the rosary with me. At first I felt a bit alone and like a fish out of water moving away for the summer from this supportive environment I'm used to while I'm at school, but then as I perservere in an effort to maintain my spiritual life I realize more and more that maybe it's not such a bad thing. Maybe God's asking me, "Will you be faithful when it's not easy? When it's not convenient?" Maybe God's challenging me to open my eyes to see more clearly the Body of Christ beyond the strong close-knit community I'm used to. Maybe God's asking me, "Are you really in this for the long haul?"

Sure, it's a bit lonely up here in small-town-middle-of-nowhere without my friends and the convenience of living in such proximity to the nearest parish and having access day and night to a chapel with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament but it's alright, I'm not going to complain because I am beginning to see God has a purpose in drawing me out of that setting for the summer. For a few months I'm pretty much on my own here, and while I really appreciate and value the community of faith I have while I'm away at school, I'm starting to see that this might not be a bad thing. . .