Tuesday, July 22, 2014

pilfering through plunder

So, the thing about Vision is that it takes up all your memory space, so you can only think of Vision.
And you forget that there ever was a part of your Notre Dame experience besides the summer.
But as I ran through the last time at Notre Dame, (not recreationally. but because I had a train to catch [which I missed. oops.]) all the memories of each place flooded back over me.
I ran through the Grotto, and I thought--but thought isn't strong enough of a word to describe it--I imagined it, I saw each image come to my head so clearly, as if for an instant, I was back in that moment. I was back in that moment of joy, pain, sorrow, forgiveness, love.
Of walking to the Grotto on a snowy night, of waiting there to meet your brother, of watching the moon hang over the trees.
Then, I went to the Basilica, and as I sat in the pew, I remembered sitting there, with my heart pounding through the exciting advent of freshman year. I sat there, often exhausted and in desperate need of nourishment during sophomore year, I sat there, learning to drink in the silence during my junior year. I sat there in joy, I sat there in pain, I sat there, learning how to listen to a voice outside of my own heart and mind.
In the midst of all these memories, I thought of the quote that had fallen into my lap as I began my freshman year, and dogged my heels since then:
Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart
When I first heard those words, I could have never predicted how they would have borne true.
As an uncertain and timid freshman, I could never have predicted how these words would be so true. How I could have grown in the depth, height, and breadth that I did at Notre Dame. 
That there, on that small little campus on the border of Indiana, I would be formed into the person that I would be today.
Mostly, I could never have imagined how that quote would be woven through those four years so intricately. 
Around about halfway through my college career, I began to suspect that once the Lord became my delight, all the desires of my heart would be for Him. That this promise for happiness was in a way a promise for a happiness I couldn't truly understand. 
That, really, what it was promising was a transformation of desires.
That if you seek True Joy--really seek Joy--not just seek happiness, or pay lip service to seeking joy, but really, truly give yourself over to finding it, then it will become something for which you never calculated having space in your life, you never planned on achieving, you never envisioned in your future.
Joy swallows up your life. Even in the moments you want to throw yourself a giant pity-party, or you wallow, or you find yourself sobbing on the South Shore Line (we've all been there. Don't even pretend you haven't.) you cannot escape this insistent tug of Joy that is like this undercurrent in every moment of your life. It pulls beneath the surface everyday, and even when the clouds cover the sun, and a frown covers your face, Joy persists in keeping up its eternal rhythm so that when you stop and are silent, it is all you can possibly hear. 

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