This morning at 8 AM mass, which was offered in memory of a grandfather of a current 6th grader, I realized that today is the feast of St. Jogue. Known as the first Catholic priest to enter New York back in 1642, Isaac Jogue, a Jesuit, and his colleague died horrible deaths. What is fascinating about his story is not so much his death, rather his life choice. After achieving much fame and notoriety in France after his first "mission" to the new world, he gave up what would have been an "easy life" to return to the harshness, confusion, and brutality of the "new world." How many of us have that level of conviction? How many of us could resist the easier course? and, while we are on the topic of easy, I'd like someone to help me define "an easy life." Life, I'm not sure, is ever easy; it gets complicated quickly. Fun, enjoyable, fulfilling, complex--all yes; but easy, I'm not so sure. If you have it, though, and can bottle it, I'll take some of that "easy."
What I enjoyed most about this morning was meeting the 6th grader's two uncles, both Saint David's alums, with their respective families, who were all enjoying this time together, reflecting, remembering. That sense of family, of community, and of belonging are essential to working through the more difficult days in life. I have been reminded of that several times recently.