August 26, 2019 | Christopher Braden, Second-Year Philosophy Student
Whether it be going off to college or starting your first job after graduating, undergoing any major lifestyle shift will prompt you to ask yourself who you are and where you come from. I´ve seen this happen to several of my friends, who frequently reacted by trying to learn more about their cultural roots. For some this meant picking up classes in Gaelic, or taking a special interest in Polish history, or learning how to make cannoli. If you were one of these people, your experience was probably that your genealogy and family traditions didn’t hold all the answers you were looking for.
The problem is that your true nationality isn’t related to any country you’ll find on a map; your real homeland is not of this world (Jn 18:36). We are citizens of Heaven, children of the Father, royalty in exile. If you want to understand who you really are in the face of the doubt and confusion that accompany big changes, you´ve got to develop a supernatural perspective of your origin and purpose. Attending daily Mass is a good way to start.
During Mass we participate directly in the eternal worship of God among the angels and the saints, our glorious compatriots. With one foot in the pews and the other in Paradise, we’re given a chance to take a breath of fresh air and return to our celestial homeland for a few minutes. By lifting us above the activities and responsibilities that are right in front of us, God reminds us of the supernatural goal of our lives, including our studies, work, and relationships: to “praise, reverence, and serve” Him in response to His great and Fatherly love (St. Ignatius).
So, don’t spend too much time making cannoli. Take advantage of this time of change as an opportunity to understand who you really are, and to let the truth of your supernatural origin and purpose transform the way you think and live.