Today is the feast of my patron, (not in name but in life.) Each year that passes removes me further and further from my youth and yet I still feel like I just left Baltimore. Is it that way for everyone? Did my grandparents look in the mirror of their minds eye and see themselves young? The path I followed to get where I am, full of both good and bad decisions seems far shorter than the 2 decades that have elapsed since I began what is considered "adulthood" although I still had plenty of growing up to do.
I still struggle with focus upon the "I", with reminders provided by family and friends that no it really isn't all about me. I wrestle with doubts and questions of how and what I believe but, Faith draws me back like a lodestone each time. The words of Augustine, Aquinas, Bellarmine, Sertillanges, Plato, Aurelius, et. al., provide bookmarks and folded page corners to remind me where I left off and where to begin again. I often find myself in conflict with people who ignore or deny the importance of the intellect in the development of a mature faith. My faith would not be what it is were it not for intellectual exploration and growth. It was the lack of intellectual exploration and explanation that led me away from it in the first place. It was St. Augustine's Confessions that led me back.
As St. Augustine had St. Ambrose, there are many to whom I am grateful for feeding my mind with thoughts, ideas, debates, and making it grow. Fr. Art who started it all, Fr. Jack, Fr. Fran, Fr. Ken, Fr. Anthony, Fr. Marty, Rabbi Amy, Rev. Evan, Sheema, Ismail, Allan Wright, and so many others, thanks.
-"Unless you believe, you will not understand."
St. Augustine of Hippo