If you know a seminarian or if you follow Catholic posts on Facebook or Twitter you’ve probably heard, “Valentine’s day in the seminary is like Father’s day in an orphanage.” Some people think this is hilarious, some people feel bad for seminarians, and some people think it’s offensive. The first time I heard it I chuckled a bit but the truth is I have great women in my life. I am blessed beyond belief to know some of the holiest women in the world. I have a great family of women to look up to, especially my mother who always has and always will be that holy lady praying for the wellness of the people around her. I have friends who want to do God’s will over anything else and I have the gift of witnessing their continuous acceptance of His mission. I have the Church, the woman who I lean on and who someday, God willing, I will be strong enough for her to lean on me…you see…she’s a big woman.
There is one more woman I want to tell you about though. She is always, always, always there for me. She truly wants what is best for me. She untangles all the ‘impossible’ problems I have just by being present to a situation. She is gentle when my heart is hurting. She is firm when I lose sight of my goals. She sees me for who I was created to be. She has such hope that I can be a better man every day. She always gives me things that I need even before I know I need them instead of trying to fulfill all of my pointless whims.
She melts my heart
…and I’m not just saying that.
In my dorm I’m not allowed to have coffee makers, refrigerators, heaters, etc. But I also can’t have candles so instead I bought one of those things you plug in with a light bulb that melts wax. It takes this cube of hard seemingly worthless wax and makes a room that houses two college guys smell like a spring meadow…Technology today right? Seriously though, a little warmth transforms the cube into something that can change a room. My Lady warms my heart so it melts and it changes who I am, and everyone I come into contact with.
Recently I’ve been talking to my brother seminarians about the struggles we face here. For some of us we struggle with living in community with 40 some brothers. For others the hardest part is being away from home, especially when we all have a deep desire to be present to our family and friends in their own journeys to our Lord. Other seminarians can struggle with academics, or the constant return to the fact that we are here to learn to give everything we have and everything that we are away for the good of the kingdom. Some guys even have dryness in prayer…Can you believe that? Seminarians that don’t have perfect prayer lives…
Everyone here has difficulties and I know that all of you reading this do too. I’ve been repeating the same thing over and over to myself and to my brothers out here. Go to Mom. She loves you. She’ll change you. I say these same words to you today. From my own experience I can tell you that She has transformed me through Her Son from a terrible confused sinner to a terrible slightly less confused sinner who daily gets back up for the sake of love. The words don’t do justice to the way She has moved in my life. The people you are closest to will see a difference in you when you open up the wax of your heart to Her heat. Do not be afraid.
On Valentine’s day many people will be sharing good times with their loved ones and praise God for the gift of being able to share one’s life with another. Take a moment though to think about that Gal who never stops loving us.
Gentlemen, love the women in your life like they are the greatest creation known to man. Why? Because they are.
Ladies, love the men in your life with sincerity and truth. Why? Because it will compel them to grow.
Our Lady is a beautiful example of what love is. She gave us our Savior. Don’t forget Her.
Go to Mom. She loves you. She’ll change you.