When A Brother Leaves...
Last Thursday we serenaded a Jesuit brother who decided to leave the congregation. At four am, we sang him songs that we usually sing for those who have just arrived in the novitiate and for those who are departing (this life). There where about twelve of us, sleepy-eyed, unwashed Jesuits, trying to fight sleep and tears from overcoming us.
Then it just dawned on me, that this brother of mine, will cease to be a brother to us. Yes, he will teach in the same university that I, we shall teach, but the brotherhood is broken. I'm not saying that we are not friends anymore, we are. I will not be able to relate to him as I used to as a Jesuit. He will just be a colleague. And being colleague is just as good as being a brother, but it's different.
Looking back, I am again reminded that for us, That's what life is inside. We arrive. We stay for awhile. We leave at once. We leave for longer time. We depart, to never return. New ones arrive. And the cycle repeats itself over and over again. Meanwhile fierce friendships are forged. Life-long partnerships in mission are born. Leaving comes. Death comes. Life begins.
To Art and your out-of-this-world laughter and shrill voice: you will surely be missed.