The End of the Semester and Trusting God with the Future

Well folks, I just finished college!  I managed to survive Monday (which entailed finishing a paper at 2 AM, and knocking out two tough philosophy tests), and then must of us went to the funeral for Joe's brother on Tuesday (hopefully, I can get together a post entirely on that day), so I then had to make up the New Testament test (not too hard because I studied enough for it) and logic (also easier than expected) on Wednesday.  After that, the only final I had remaining was the take-home essay for modern and contemporary philosophy, which was pretty easy (only a few pages long) and only took an hour or two.  

Of course, the difficulties, successes, and completion of finals week isn't enough of a topic for a post regarding the end of the semester and the end of my college career, so I guess I'll spend the rest of this post talking a bit more about the whole experience so far.

To be honest, I've thoroughly, completely, utterly loved seminary over these past two years.  I was scared out of my wits when I showed up, but within hours I had begun to feel the vibe, the energy, the joy, and the intensity of seminary - and I fell in love.  I can't begin to express how wonderful of an experience it has been.  I have learned more than I thought possible - about philosophy, about life, about friendships, about discernment, about faith, about love - and I've enjoyed every moment - including the hard ones, like tests, and dry periods in prayer, and situations that forced me out of my comfort zone, and the awesome ones, like playing in the soccer tournament, those beautiful moments in Mass where everything clicks and it really feels like heaven, going out to eat with some of your best friends, watching countless great movies, spending hours of supreme peace in front of the Blessed Sacrament, study groups.  Yeah, every moment has been phenomenal!  

And now it's all about to change...  On the one hand, I'm excited.  Not only to graduate and enjoy the feeling of completing college, but also to head home (spend some quality time with the family), and then in July to head over to Italy to begin a new (and awesome) chapter in my seminary "career".  Yeah, I'm looking forward to all of it.  But on the other hand, I'm going to miss Brute.  I love the fact that I have a genuine friend in everybody here - something that is going to be much harder when I'm at the PNAC with 250 other guys.  I love the laughter, and music, and singing, and craziness that echos down the halls - this truly is a fun place!  But, on the third hand (whatever that is...), moving on is a bit scary.  Studying in Rome will be fantastic, but it will also be a struggle.  I'll be a long way away from all the great friends I have (here at Brute as well as at home), and my wonderful family - that's hard, it's a sacrifice I wish I didn't have to make...  Most of the guys here at Brute have been moving out yesterday and today and it finally hit me that I won't be seeing a lot of these guys in the near future - it's a happy moment (the semester is over!), but it's also sad.  In 2 months (almost exactly) I'll be doing the same thing with my family and friends back home, and that will be an even more exciting, and even more difficult, moment.  

Still, I'm putting it all in God's hands.  Lord, lead me where you want me, give me the strength to endure the hardships that your vocation entails for me, and grant me the true joy that comes with following You.

The second half of my New Testament final was an exegesis essay on Luke 2:25-35 (the presentation in the temple and Simeon's canticle).  I talked about how Luke's Gospel, all the way through, is looking at how true joy (from God) only comes through a certain amount of suffering, often in self-sacrifice and trusting Him.  Zechariah and Elizabeth experience the pain of not having a child before God gives them one.  Mary is asked to trust God completely, but receives the incarnate joy of Jesus Christ.  Then, arriving at the temple, they are required to offer Jesus back to God, and not only that, but Simeon prophesies that a sword will pierce Mary's heart.  Following God isn't always easy, it isn't always fun; actually it requires sacrifice - only through sacrificing ourselves to Him can He transform us with His joy.  Only through less reliance on ourselves, and more trust in Him, can he replace our pitiable joys with His own.  It's tough to learn - I for sure want to rely on myself, not Him - but ironically, going to Rome - something that I am super excited for - will also end up helping me grow in the trust of God.  God brings good out of evil, but He also bring supernatural good out of our own natural goods (at least, if we let Him).  

Yeah, so I'm excited, and scared, and happy, and unsure - and life continues to spin along.  The future is bright, but a bit unknown at the same time.  Jesus, I trust in You!