I just felt like running…

I just felt like running…

Mama said you gotta put the past behind you before you can move on, and I think that’s what my runnin’ was all about… I just felt like runnin’. The ¬†other night I watched Forrest Gump, one of my favorite movies, for the umpteenth time. I always love those scenes where Forrest decides to run thousands of miles after his mama died. There’s something so earnest and humble about just setting feelings into productive motion. I ran cross country and track in middle and high school and I absolutely loved it. I was by no means talented, but I loved being part of the team: the spaghetti dinners, being pushed by my coaches and writing my name and jersey number in fabric paint on green and gold ribbons to tie in my hair for race days. I got lazy in college and then, when one of my best friends (the one who literally pushed me into the Monday Night Ski Hill 5ks every summer) was killed our senior year, I started running again. At that point, I was running out of grief and frustration that someone that beautiful and wonderful could be taken away from me so quickly. I’m not sure why, but the running consoled me. It gave me a rhythm and meaning. I’ve recently started running yet again, not because I particularly felt like it, but logic told me that running is physically good for me, keeps me busy and encourages me to set goals and meet them. I’ve been eating (and plan to continue to eat) a LOT of Chik-fil-A so the added weight was added...
For the Feast of St. Ignatius: The Sacraments and Spiritual Warfare

For the Feast of St. Ignatius: The Sacraments and Spiritual Warfare

The Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola is upon us! It seems fitting to commemorate the author of the Spiritual Exercises with something about spiritual warfare. Theologians have tried to relate the sacraments to various things, the most common being life essentials (Baptism as birth, Eucharist as food, etc.). I prefer to relate them to the task of spiritual warfare that surrounds us in our daily lives. Let’s start by examining the battlefield into which our first parents, Adam and Eve, were exiled. On our left is the fortress of Satan. It is dark and there is no life within it. The plants surrounding it are withered and dead. The moat is stagnant. The screams of the condemned can be heard echoing through the halls. It truly is “the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4). On our right is the temple of God, the new and Heavenly Jerusalem, brighter than a thousand suns, and in it is found no death. It sits atop a great mountain and all the way up the side of this mountain, the plants grow greener and greener, until just outside the castle, our first home, the Garden of Eden, sits thriving. The moat is filled with every type of fish in abundance and the streams flow all throughout it. The cheers of saints and angels in jubilation echo through the verdant courtyards. It is truly “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). We were born outside its gates, born upon the battlefield, born into the midst of a great war. Among us was once born a man who...