I grew up in the Muncie branch of the People of Praise, and among the members is this hilarious lady named Mary Collins. I almost called her "elderly" in trying to describe her to you, but I couldn't bring myself to use that as the first word, because I simply cannot imagine her as old. She is crazy energetic, and when you are speaking with her, you nearly melt under the spotlight of attention and love that she blasts directly at you. When I graduated from high school, she impacted me greatly with a simple little note about noticing that God had been changing me over the past couple years, and assuring me of her daily prayers for me through college. I never really knew any of her family, her husband passed away before my time, and her kids were all grown up and out conquering the world, other than occasional visits home during the holidays.
When I moved up to Chicago, I heard from Mrs. Collins that her son Jim was working at a parish in Chicago and that he'd love to connect with me. I even have a post about it, now that I think back on it. Anyway, back at the ranch, I've now occasionally seen Jim once every few months. I missed his ordination this summer due to a more important attendance at Don & Jackie's wedding. A couple weekends ago I joined him and a couple other guys - one being another son-of-a-branch-member - for some work at his parish, assembling a bunch of shelving for their huge supply of donated clothes -------------
why oh why do i freeze up and become absolutely short/curt/unresponsive, when it is the very person i want to be the complete opposite with??
---- . The other guys had brought a lot of construction materials and equipment and the stuff we made is very sturdy, will last a long time, and will hold a lot of stuff. I had arrived at the parish a bit earlier to catch a Spanish Mass that he says a few days a week. It felt good to put in some work that would be benefitting people struggling a little more materially than the people I usually work for.
This weekend I rode with Don & Jackie out to visit Amy in Mason City Iowa, as she's out in there in the middle of nowhere with nobody. I missed a retreat that Jim was speaking at, but heard that it was a great success, that God was definitely at work there. I also missed seeing him on WTTW11 for a 10-minute show on the "vow of poverty". Fortunately, there is already an online copy. I just watched it today in the middle of work, and want to recommend to all of you gentle readers to watch it as well. He hit the nail on the head with how I feel about taking up a vow of poverty, and I think it's for a lot more people than who think it's for them. Here are the links: Broadband version, and dialup version. It's RealAudio, apologies for the proprietary format, but at least there is a linux player.
Last paragraph. Gotta hammer this out real quick, have a meeting at Holy Name in 20 minutes. The quote above was found via Wikipedia's Latin Mottos. New item on my list: use more Latin. Oh and why this quote? Because that's what a vow of poverty is all about. (ps- senorita verde, lo siento mucho por completely rejecting our conversation about vows of poverty.. just realized i did that..)