Day 6 - A week in the life of a seminarian

Alright, well I guess I'll start this post the same as the others, at the very beginning of the day. Today, because it is Saturday, we have Morning Prayer and Mass at 9:30.  Thus, I rolled out of bed around 8:30, took a shower, threw my laundry into the washer, and got to the chapel around 9:10.  I prayed the Office of Readings and had a few moments of meditation before Morning Prayer began.  Today the intercessions really jumped out at me:
Let us all praise Christ.  In order to become our faithful and merciful high priest before the Father's throne, he chose to become one of us, a brother in all things.  In prayer we ask of him: Lord, share with us the treasure of you love.  Sun of Justice, you filled us with the light at our baptism, - we dedicated this day to you.  At every hour of the day, we give you glory, - in all our deeds, we offer you praise.  Mary, your mother, was obedient to you word, - direct our lives in accordance with that word.  Our lives are surrounded with passing things; set our hearts on things of heaven, - so that through faith, hope and charity we may come to enjoy the vision of your glory.
Mass was also really, really awesome!  Today the reading was when Jesus tells his disciples that He will have to die, and they don't believe him.  

"While they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you.  The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”  But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying." - Luke 9:43-45
Looking back at this reading (I managed to forget what struck me during Mass), I think that it's important to see that the disciples didn't go to Jesus with their misunderstandings out of fear.  We should never fear to go to Jesus; He is incarnate truth.  Fr. Bob made a good point in his homily - we should never fear the truth.  Sometimes it is hard to understand, sometimes it forces us to lose something, sometimes it means doing things that other people think are crazy, but truth always brings us closer to God, and that is where we need to be.  I guess I haven't meditated on it much because that is about as far as thought has gone so far, but hopefully it gets one of you thinking.  (If you have a breakthrough, throw it in the comments!)

After Mass I pretty much skipped breakfast, because we were having a community lunch later (and I wanted to save room).  Every Saturday morning we have a work session.  All the guys are in one of four groups, indoor, outdoor, kitchen, and chapel.  This year I am on the outdoor team, and today my job was to organize the shed that holds all our tools.  I thought it would be an easy and fun job - I was right on the second point, but not on the first.  We had way more tools, pots, assorted doo-dads, power-equipment, and junk than I thought.  However, for whatever reason, the organizational side of things was fun.  It's kind of like a puzzle: what tool would best fit on this hook?  Where should that shelf go that would keep everything on it accessible, but allow the maximum amount of storage around it?  I was also reminded just how fast things can get done when you have a bunch of guys working on it.  I threw about half the stuff out of the shed to give myself some room to sweep the dirt out and be able to move things around, but because of my previous underestimation of the scale of the project, most of the stuff didn't have a home yet when we ran out of time.  With 5 or so guys helping though, everything had been returned inside the shed within a matter of minutes.  Good times!

Zach's parents, who came in to cook up lunch (and I suppose visit their son), cooked us spaghetti and meatballs, with salad, cheesy-garlic bread, and apple and pumpkin pie.  It was absolutely delicious.  Gosh, I look forward to those meals so much, the food is always wonderful!  (The leftovers are also fantastic).  Before lunch, we were snacking on m&m's that they had set out on the tables, but these were candy-corn m&m's.  Very interesting (in a good way)!

After lunch I quickly took a shower (to get rid of the crusty feeling from the work session), and Ray and I drove over to St. Paul's Hermitage.  This is a nursing/retirement home run by Benedictine sisters over on the south side of Indianapolis.  Ray and I both got assigned to the same location (kind of unique I think), and we are probably going to head over there every Saturday afternoon.  Anyway, we went over there last week and got an introduction/tour of the place by one of the sisters, but this week was our first "real" week, where we started to visit the residents.  I was a bit trepidatious before starting, just because I didn't know how we would keep a conversation going for an hour or more with the folks here.  I'm not a huge sanguine (and I don't think Ray would put himself in that category either), so it's definitely going to stretch us (in a good way) going over there every week.  However, today the woman that we visited knew it was our first time and was literally trying to show us the ropes of how to visit the elderly/infirm.  I have no idea how old she is, but I can only hope that I am in her condition when I am her age.  She talked to us the entire time, showed us around the hallways, asked questions...  It was fantastic!  I think this ministry will be really good for me, and this fantastic start to it has only reinforced this thought.

We got back after a few hours, and I took it pretty easy for the rest of the afternoon.  I totally wanted to take a nap, but for whatever reason I never got to it.  I did spend some time on the computer, I wandered the halls a bit - I don't know - nothing much happened, and that was actually kind of nice.  I said mid-afternoon prayer around 4 PM, and then watched some guys play pool.  I also watched a bit of the Notre Dame game at 5 or so.  I did doze a little bit while watching it (actually, I have this funny quirk of sleeping with my eyes open, so I left the other guys guessing as to whether I was sleeping or watching.  Yeah, it's pretty cool, or maybe just creepy...)

I finally was starting to feel hungry (after the huge lunch) so I decided to make myself a meatball sandwich with the leftovers.  Of course, Corey was working on making fried pickles when I got to the kitchen, so I had to have some of those.  And then other guys wanted some, so I (coached by Corey) made some more batches of the pickles.  They were really really good!  I played a game or two of pool with the guys that were now hanging out around the kitchen (our game room is now right across from the kitchen), and then went up to the chapel for a Holy Hour.  Usually we don't have an hour of Adoration on Saturday (the only day), but today there was enough interest to have one.  I said Evening Prayer, the Rosary, and then read some more out of The Priest is Not His Own.  This book keeps hitting me right in between the eyes.  Today the chapter was on being poor in spirit, and how the priest absolutely must not be attached to earthly goods.  As Bishop Sheen explained this doesn't mean that he can't own things, or all his possessions must be worn-out, but he must have the right ordering of these things in regard to the eternal goods.  Your fantastic quote of the day: "Poverty of spirit does not begin with an act of the will to do with less;  it begins with the Spirit of Christ in us." - page 126  Awesome!

After the Holy Hour I again wandered down to the kitchen.  I played a few more games of pool (I haven't won too many games, but it is a lot of fun!).  Corey was now working on fried oreos, which are absolutely fantastic, completely delicious, spectacularly phenomenal - in other words really tasty.  I played a game of chess with one of the other guys.  It was a lot of fun, I haven't played chess in forever (more like 3 years or something), and I eventually lost.  I didn't go down too easily though, my king was hopping around quite a bit for the last 10 moves or so...   

Good night everybody!  This post seems shorter than the others and it still took me over an hour to write...  Hope you guys are enjoying them!  Tomorrow the schola will be singing for Mass, so I need to get to bed (we are practicing before Mass)... We'll see what else happens!