Thinking back, I realized that it has been a year and a half since I proposed to you all at Fall Retreat in 2010. Back then , my love and gratefulness for you was enough for me to "propose," and my love for you has continued to grow. But, I'm ready to accept the fact that God's vocation for all of us is probably not to get married. So out of this sacrificial love I now write to you to say one last thank you and goodbye.
God has made all of you so incredibly beautiful-even the gentlemen-and I'm even more incredibly blessed that He has opened my eyes to see the unique gifts you all have. There's just something about being here with all of you even if I barely know you or sometimes forget your name or call you Beth when your name is Hannah. God has really created this community to be light in the darkness especially the darkness of my own life.
I don't know, but I think that without this community, I would have been exhausted trying to follow Jesus a long time ago, but it is here that I am best reminded of the beauty and universality of our Church. It is here with you all that I am reminded of my need for Christ and constant conversion. It is here that I am reminded of the source of my joy and my heart grows in its desire to do nothing but proclaim this crazy intense Truth to every soul I encounter. Okay, so I can't say I crazily proclaim the intense Truth of Jesus to every soul I encounter, but I desire to, so pray that I one day can!
Boys, as much as I in all my pride, am uncomfortable to admit this. You guys are literally awesome, and I even must admit as a girl I've been a bit jealous about the bond you have together. Truly men after St. Joseph's heart. Because you rejoice so much in your identity as men of God, you have led us as daughters of the righteous king to understand our beauty, worth and mission as women that has been so distorted in our culture. I guess I can't speak for all the girls, but I know personally that you Tobias men have helped restore my knowledge of self-worth and gently led me into Mama Mary's heart. This is a good place to be as God gently leads me to my vocation-whatever it may be-so thank you.
For the girls, I am most grateful for the joy you've all brought me. Finding true, solid, edifying friendships in high school is difficult, but I think that's because in the confusing time of growing up it is easy to only focus on oneself. Being here in a place where all you girls rejoice in your compassionate and nurturing femininity and care totally and selflessly about others, friendship has been easy to find, and now very hard to move from. I don't know if I could tell you how much you all have inspired me. Your care for me, all the crazy things we have done together, accepting my vegetarian Westside differences, and witnessing to me about how Jesus is kindling the fire of His love in your hearts are all things that I will keep in my heart as I wait to meet the beautiful women Jesus puts in my life next. Know I am still here for you too so all that little pointless pop song goes-just call me maybe!?
I think I will end with something I learned at the Matt Maher concert: Jesus needs me. I think this alone is why I'm semi-ok with leaving you all and moving on. He needs me for the world, for the darkness. He may have created me just to bring one soul to heaven, and if I don't follow I may miss out on my crazy beautiful call to take part in the salvation of the world. What is even more beautiful is that you all have this call to, and it has been you all, and core team, and Brad and Fr. Albert who have inspired me to know, love and serve for this call. You all are the ones who help remind me of my vocation to greatness. You all are the ones that have brought the words of Pope Benedict to life showing me that my call to greatness is not an ethical choice or a lofty idea but an encounter with the person Jesus Christ. Our call to greatness is a call to a person-Jesus-and I thank Him for being able to learn more about Him through you. Before I go I would like to pass on a family heirloom to Maggie Drew. This antique has been a prized possession of mine after winning opposite war the fall retreat I got engaged. Do not worry, for unlike Greco, he promotes the complementarity of men and women, but must be protected from little children desperate for sugar. Treasure him and pass him on to a well deserving freshman like yourself when you're a senior.
Know I am praying for all of you that you may receive your Creator with a wide open heart and with His help fight the lies of the flesh, the world and the evil one that tell you that you are unfixable and unworthy. I challenge you to continue to pursue Jesus who is the greatness you are being called to. And with one last week of Easter-Alleluia!