A few days ago I came across a picture of a little boy with his arm up on a snow bank. The little boy appeared to be half asleep or perhaps catching a nap on this snow bank. Maybe he had been shoveling, I don’t really know. I do know that the little boy was about five at the time of the photo. It was a picture of me that my father probably took. As I looked at the picture I began to look deeply at the boy and I wanted to talk with him. I really longed to talk again with that little boy who had grown into a man. I wanted to tell him that he was a good little boy. I wanted to tell him that the cares and concerns he had were real but that the passage would be okay.
On the wall in my sacred space is a picture of that boy taken some years later when he was 13. When I look at that young man I want to speak with him too and tell him that I love him. That young man wanted to be a Catholic priest. He wanted to dedicate his life to helping others. That young man attended Mass everyday and was devout about his faith. He was also torn by an emerging sexual and social identity which caused him to question the beliefs and at one point would drive him down the road of the prodigal son. Life wasn’t simple for that young man. He was full of conflict and question.
Looking deeply at myself today I can see the little boy and the adolescent and I can embrace both of them and love them deeply because they are part of who I am today. The more I am able look deeply and to see not only those two boys, but my mother, father, brother, sister, and everyone else the more contented I am.
Everything belongs. Peace.