The seminary I attended has a custom of inviting priests to return to the institution and concelebrate a mass on the occasion of the twenty-fifth year of priesthood or what is known as the cleric’s “silver jubilee.” I never attend reunions of any kind and nearly declined this invitation, however, I had not seen any of my seminary classmates in a quarter of a century and suspected this would be my last chance to be with people who were with me at a defining moment in my life. In my wildly vivid imagination, I presumed they would all be altered, somehow more mature, worldly, opinionated and therefore insufferable (don’t ask me to explain—it would simply take too long).
What I found is that all of us were almost exactly the same, only more defined. The characteristics that were with us in our early twenties were made sharper and more profound through time.
I suspect many of us focus attention on how our circumstances have changed us. We regret the hasty decisions and mishaps. We wish we could revisit the past and adjust the undesirable route directed by life’s wonky GPS. But what if regardless of the decisions and phases of our lives—we would be the same people we are right now? What if living and the adventure of our existence merely polish and highlight who we really are? If we believe that, is it possible to abandon regret? Could we be free from remorse and despondency if we could acknowledge that the soul of who we are will be revealed in success or in failure, in abundance or poverty, in wisdom or in foolishness? If we are made in the image and likeness of God, perhaps life’s pleasures and disappointments have the potential of gradually exposing courage, perseverance and generosity. Who we really are can shine forth regardless of our life story. And who you really are is a child of God.I saw the angle in the marble and carved until I set him free~ ~ Michelangelo