Thursday, April 30, 2009

four up, four down.

"literally -- nothing is the same."
-- elliot foley
oh gosh.
it's been a while since i've posted anything here. i know some people have been thinking "what the heck greg -- at the beginning of the semester you were posting about dorm room Horse games and now you're not even posting about ten day or 5 day trips!" to which i have 2 responses:
1) that Horse shot was literally the most dramatic moment of the semester, and will forever be engrained in my memory. so lay off. :).
2) there is no way i can do ten day or 5 day justice on this blog.
i can't wait to sit down with everyone someday and share the stories and lessons that i have accumulated during my time here. but for now, leaving you wondering will have to do.
the last 2 weeks has been intense. finals have come and gone, frisbee season is over, and everyone here is just about all packed up. pretty much every conversation you have with people is about moving on -- how are you feeling about going home? what are you doing over the summer? are you excited to see your family again?
my reply is always the same: i'm going to take 2 weeks to just figure out life again. and usually the person will look at me quizzically and ask something like, "what do you mean?". and the answer, like i've heard elliot say over and over, is that nothing is the same anymore.
the way i view people.
the way i view the Church.
the way i view my friendships.
the way i view Love.
the way i view myself.
it's just all so dang different. and i know that a month from now Austria will be but a strange dream of the past to me, and i will be all settled in back home again and whatnot. the challenge for me is to actualize, to integrate, to make truly real all of the things i learned here.
it's also been made apparent to me that everything i've been given is not just for me. the joy, hope, and lessons learned are to be shared.
a year ago i was sitting in my room (207), talking with Josh Wattenbarger about my year ahead. i was looking ahead at WYD australia in july and these 4 months in europe. "i have the craziest year of my life ahead of me" i remember telling him. if i had only known at that moment the joy i would be experiencing right now, i think i would have keeled over. it's like a four month retreat high. but these memories will never, ever fade. the people i've met will never cease to have an impact on me. the love i've experienced will continue to shape my actions.
Austria is over. Half of college is over. I'm twenty in just over two months. just typing this is surreal.
Praise God for His countless blessings and unending love. He has set my road straight before me for four months, He has kicked down every wall i've butted into -- and now He's waiting for me at the end of the tunnel, waving an American flag and welcoming me home.
that's a strange thought.

Monday, April 13, 2009

understanding not needed for standing upright.

do you think they understood? like, really, really, really understood?

picture peter, just hanging out, still trying to figure out if he had just wasted three years of his life or not. mary bursts into his room and starts babbling about an empty tomb and an angel. Jesus is alive again. He's waiting for you.

Peter sprints to the tomb and sees the evidence. and this is where my question comes up again: do you think he understood?

did he understand that thousands of years of humanity had been groaning for this day? that billions of people were not fortunate enough to have the Resurrection ever preached to them? that he would be the foundation of a new creation? that in a few hundred years the whole world would venerate this moment?

heck, do i even understand it today? 2000 years later? because when i lift my hands and say unto God that i love him for his sacrifice and thank him for his love, i certainly feel like i understand. but when i use those same hands to continue the trend of evil, i find myself wondering: do i really understand?

all i can say with certainty is that i understand this much: an empty tomb brought Meaning to a previously empty hearted world. and an empty tomb has brought meaning to my previously empty heart.

and for that, i'll continue to sing, knowing i will never completely understand it.

Easter Monday
April 13, 2009.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

nothing i wanted, everything i needed.

really brief:

ten day was nothing like we planned it, but exactly what we all needed. hopefully i'll post something here about it before we leave for Easter 5day break of wed. night/thursday morn.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

bon voyage.

It feels a bit surreal, but ten-day break is officially here. After hearing countless stories of the ups and downs that come with ten-day travelling, it's finally my turn to travel wherever i want, with whoever i want, get pissed/annoyed/frustrated with/at them, drink with them, pray with them, etc.

Can't wait.

Me, Elliot, and Chris Loisel are leaving at 3AM for Croatia and Medjugorje. i had accepted that i wouldn't be going to Medj this semester and that it "wasn't my time" to go, but Elliot and Chris had such a good experience there last weekend that they insisted we go while on ten-day.

We're spending 4 days in Dubrovnik, Croatia, from Saturday til Tuesday night. We then spend two days in Medj, and finish it off in Split, Croatia before heading home.

This break comes at an opportune time, as the never-ending winter continues here in Gaming. The snow seems to be melting for good this time, but it's never a safe bet it seem in Gaming. The slightly warmer coast of Croatia should be a good change of pace.

We're all expecting big things from this trip. I pray it's as successful and memorable as we hope it to be. please pray for us, as i will certainly be holding Dedham, LOJ, and all friends in my heart as i journey into Medj for the first time.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

eff households 2.0

I'm kind of embarassed i even have to do this.

some 2 months after posting an entry about making new friends, word has finally gotten back to me that my comment of "eff household" has become a joke of sorts, used to sarcastically describe the "excitement" of our return to main campus.

i'm just going to state simply that the comment was merely intended to be a radical way of saying that households are not an acceptable way of judging people or denying friendships with people. i apologize if it bothered anybody.

and if this news i was told is in fact incorrect and is just a misconstrued rumor, then ignore this completely -- i simply don't want people thinking i'm sick of household (hence why i put I LOVE MY HOUSEHOLD in caps in the original entry).

i feel like i'm defending one of my Troub articles again.

loj is the greatest household in the history of households. and i owe much of my growth over the past 2 years to the intercession of St Joseph and the love of my brothers.

the end.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

yea, like nike.

It's been said in a myriad of fashions:
"Just jump off the cliff."
"All you gotta do is say yes."
"Just reach out and touch Him."
"Knock, and the door will be opened".

The first and greatest thing i had to face up to is that the only thing standing between myself and canonization is: myself.

I came into Gaming desiring a number of things: a better prayer life, a better attitude, a greater knowledge of my faith. It took me about 2 weeks to realize that Europe wasn't going to go to the chapel or study for me.

After my first week here, in which i slept in on numerous occasions, i slapped myself and declared that i was going to go to mass everyday. i can still remember the moment i stated this because suddenly i felt enabled. i've missed one since. once the ball got rolling, it was impossible for me to not go to mass. it's eventually gotten to the point where i feel weird/guilty if i miss a day.

and i could repeat pretty much the same story with a multitude of different tasks: prayer, devotions, confession, etc. i've had conversations via facebook with a number of friends from home throughout the semester, and this theme of inaction kept popping up. getting to know the Lord requires action. whether you want to call it reaching out, taking a leap, knocking on the door, whatever, just do it.

the point, i think, is clear. when you know you have something you need/should be doing: just do it. it sounds remarkably simple and maybe even cause some people to think "well, duh, greg". but concupiscence grounds us more than we sometimes realize. we often look at the clock and use time as an excuse for our laziness.

one of the best lyrics Jon Foreman every wrote says, "get up, love is moving you now". we're called to respond to the Lord in love. And love cannot be static, it cannot be given from our sofas. whatever we gotta do -- do it.

slacker. i know.

so i've realized i've been getting rather lazy in my writing. i created this blog with the intention of not just simply giving updates but to also write of things i've learned along the way and whatnot. instead, since january, i've opted for point-by-point updates and brief one-liners. my goal by the end of the semester is to greatly change this pattern. hopefully starting now.

here goes.