I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told to “follow my dreams.” That message seems to be everywhere in American society. As children, we’re told we can be anything we want. We can reach for the stars!
Haiti is a country with a complicated history and many challenges. It has faced political instability and relentless natural disasters. Its people have had to overcome extreme poverty, starvation, dehydration and a myriad of other sorrows. Still, the people of Haiti possess a unique beauty and strength of character.
I’d heard prisons in developing countries were heartbreaking, but still wasn’t prepared for what I saw while visiting the Cap-Haitien Prison Ministry in Haiti. This mission partner serves two prisons, and I was able to join their staff as they visited the prisoners at Grand Riviere on Nord.
Thomas Aquinas was the youngest of nine children born to noble parents in the Kingdom of Sicily. Following the tradition of the times, five-year-old Thomas was sent to the Abbey of Monte Cassino to train among Benedictine monks.
Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491, one of thirteen children in a family of minor nobility in northern Spain. He grew up at a time of great adventurers like Christopher Columbus and dreamed of gaining fame in battle, so he joined the army of Spain to do just that. When Ignatius was severely wounded in a battle with the French, his days of knighthood ended – and his spiritual adventures began.
In these last days before we enter into the most solemn week of the liturgical year, Jesus makes us three conditional promises: “If you remain in my word – (a) you will truly be my disciples; (b) you will know the truth; and (c) the truth will set you free.” When we read this passage in the gospel of John, we may often do so in such a way as to overlook the distinct nature of each promise, but all three are important for us as we are invited to walk the journey to Jerusalem.