A day that leads to more

An Essay By Ben // 1/22/2003

Yesterday, I asked and doubted many things. I asked: why must I leave home? I asked: why must I study in my room like a silent monk? I doubted my purpose for being here at school. I asked: what is love? And I wondered if I could ever know. Today has launched me, whether I want it or no, into that adventure I mentioned yesterday – and the adventure already leads me on a road to answer these questions.

I asked: what is love? Today my favorite philosophy professor explained that our course this semester would be focusing entirely on love and the city. We will approach love through philosophy, literature, and political science. So, love will be made known to me more clearly this semester.

I asked: why must I leave home? Yesterday I signed up to take a student retreat. Today I read a short passage from Exodus and met with a priest to discuss it for half-an-hour. I think Exodus applies to us more than most of us realize. And I think it will answer my question.

I asked: why must I study like a silent monk? Today I drove a friend of mine from the airport to her school. The school is run and taught mostly by nuns and brothers. My friend, who boards with the nuns during the school year, introduced me to many of them. The sisters stirred soup and complained about chocolate icing not being thick enough. They talked about taking a bus down to Washington D.C. tonight so that they could join in the march for life tomorrow (the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade). They explained that their old dog is afraid of the wind.

The brothers were cutting wood when we found them. The wood is for the trim around the windows of a huge addition they are building to the sisters’ house. They joked about the cold and told me to come visit. I stood outside and looked at the white fields and pines and recognized the silent, simple, devoted life they must live there… yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I saw how well my friend is. There, they will be teaching and praying, building houses and cooking, and here I can live a similar way.

I'm thankful... I'm also already behind on my studying.

Ben

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