Sunday, October 16, 2011

Autumnal Breakin, Day 2

Started the day out right with a midnight tour of the monuments. There’s nothing like seeing the WWII memorial lit up at night-the water reflects off all the pools of water and the spraying fountains, and casts a golden light over the entire monument. It was absolutely stunning.

After a good night’s rest, we headed off to Mass at the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Going back to the Basilica is always a special pilgrimage. In the crypt, there is a small, inconspicuous little side chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Slovenia. There, engraved on the wall in gold writing is a quote, which reads: “This is all I desire: to be where God wants me to be.” When I was college visiting, I saw that quote, and I felt such peace-I knew that all I had to find out was where God wanted me to be. Although it might seem easier to find out where I want to be, I don’t think that’s the case. Human beings are so notoriously changeable and trying to discern what we want is usually a supremely difficult chore. Asking God for guidance, and listening to His call is, in a way, much easier. Counter-intuitive, but true. And that’s how I ended up at Notre Dame. Last January, I was in D.C. for the March for Life, and I visited that quote again. Halfway through freshman year, I needed a reminder that that was all that mattered-to be where God wanted me to be. How blessed I am that Notre Dame is that place.

We had a long hard day of fun-visiting Smithsonians and exploring the city. We ended the day in Georgetown, eating dinner in the garden of an adorable little burger joint. We had dinner with some old Notre Dame friends. I was talking with one of them-also a PLS major-about life after Notre Dame. It sounded like a fairytale. She described the network of Notre Dame alumni, University of Dallas, Steubenville, CUA, all these students of different colleges and universities living together, partying together, talking about Aristotle and the Catechism together, and just in general sharing life together. It sounded too good to be true. It made me so happy. We walked back to the center, surrounded by the sounds and sights of the city at night. I love the city at night. It makes you feel so alive.

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