I wanted to spend the year exploring this in depth with a desire to wholeheartedly respond to Jesus', "Come, follow me" with an adventurous heart. Once I had chosen the word, I noticed a couple of things. 1) I began to see how the word adventure had been showing up in my journaling prior, which always evokes a sense of awe and appreciation for how the Lord works, preparing and laying a foundation for the work to come. 2) My definition of adventure was challenged and expanded. My heart was pointed towards previous life events reminding me that adventures are not always about fun and excitement, and I was also reminded that whereas I was envisioning going out on adventures, I was prompted to recognize that a big part of it will be the interior adventure through prayer.
The Role of Saints in the Process
- St. Faustina - Since surrendering and responding to God's plans for my life requires trust, I am revisiting St. Faustina's Diary and also reading 52 Weeks With St. Faustina. I read Our Friend Faustina right after it was published in the fall, right around the time I had chosen my word, which also prompted me that I had been wanting to reread her diary.
- St. Teresa of Avila - During prayer when I sensed that I should keep in mind the layer of interior adventure, I decided to finally read Interior Castle, which I had bought back in 2016 but just never read.
- St. John and Mary - I have been drawn to St. John for a while now, specifically thinking about him reclining on Jesus' chest at the last supper, as well as links between his personality and mine in contrast to some of the other apostles. I am currently reading In Sinu Jesu which fits well with St. Faustina's Diary as it is also personal revelation. Though it is specifically written for priests as the audience, it has been speaking to my heart a lot based on the emphasis on time with the Eucharist, as well as connections between Jesus' Sacred Heart, Mary's Immaculate Heart, and St. John. The book is weaving together many different threads that have stood out to me over the years. It also prompted me to recommit to praying the Rosary daily.
A Phrase on My Heart
Not long after I chose the word adventure, I began a small discernment to consider where I wanted to focus my energy and attention within my career in order to express my preferences to my new dean. I was surprised by one bend in particular but could see how it linked to a sense of adventure - letting go of some layers in order to narrow in on another. Front and center with my discerned focus is the research process for teachers, and the phrase that kept coming up that I decided to have frame my work was the beauty of becoming. I soon recognized how this would connect to adventure and a lens for life in general.