|John Baab, Me, and Kevin at the inner harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. Oct. 20, 2012.|
Because it was a “free weekend,” John didn’t have a bunch of scheduled mandatory activities to do, so we got to spend some quality time together, just the three of us. Friday night we hung out in the guest suite where Kevin and I stayed. It’s on the floor below where John’s dorm is.
It was really nice to sit around and talk, laugh, and catch up after two months of texting sporadically, talking over the phone occasionally, and seeing John in person only once for a couple of hours when he made a whirlwind trip to Richmond for the deacon ordination held on Oct. 13, 2012.
Saturday morning, we had a continental breakfast with John and met a few of his friends there, then he gave us a tour of the huge building, including the classrooms, library, chapel, recreation areas, and his dorm room.
We met in the smaller of the two main chapels for daily Mass at 11:30am since so many people were away that weekend. It was a treat to have different priests say Mass. Since they do have so many priests there, they have quite a variety in who presides at Mass and who preaches, which John has appreciated and we also liked.
Later on, I took a walk around the campus to see the grounds on the beautiful day. I was feeling a bit down, again wondering “why am I here?” Not “why am I at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore (obviously we went to spend some quality time with John), but “why am I alive” in a general sense, “what’s my greater purpose for being on this earth and what difference will that make in time and eternity?”
Last weekend Kevin was also feeling stressed and overwhelmed, in part, due to the insane traffic patterns in DC, a trying work week, and some of his own questioning about his usefulness to others, to God...
For two people who can so easily see and affirm how God is working in and through others in amazing, miraculous, significant ways, my husband and I sure have a lot of trouble seeing our own potential and greater sense of purpose. Fortunately, we can see and point out that which is good and holy in each other, even during those times when we can’t see it in ourselves. John is also someone who knows us very well, and loves us anyway. He's been wonderful about reminding us Christ is with us and in us, and that our marriage indeed glorifies the Lord. We love John dearly and are blessed to be in his life to remind him God cherishes him, always has, always will.
In addition to our time with John and extra prayer opportunities, God, in His Infinite Wisdom, reminded Kevin and me each in very specific ways this week that He loves us and that He has been and will continue to use our lives by working in and through us.
Since Kevin likes to keep it simple and isn’t one for reading at length, his came in a fortune cookie: “You lead a useful life no matter what riches are coming to you.” J He kept this little piece of paper to show me, knowing immediately it was part of the reassurance from God that his life has purpose even if we aren’t where we’d hoped to be or thought we would be at this stage in our lives.
That very same day, I came across the following quote from Blessed Mother Teresa in a book I’m reading and reviewing Where There Is Love, There is God: “What is the reason for our existence? We are here to satiate the thirst of Jesus…to proclaim the love of Christ, the thirst of Jesus for souls…by the holiness of our lives” (pg. 173). Does God know me well, or what? Not only did he answer my question, but He included the question within the response just to make sure I was paying attention.
I always say that if we’re still on earth, then God can still work in and through us, but Kevin and I both appreciated our very personalized reminders that He’s not finished with us yet.
You, Lord, are ALL we have, and You give us ALL we need. Our future is in Your Hands. Lord, we pray for Your will. Plant Your will in our hearts and make it our deepest desire and most fervent longing. Amen