Xavier University's Institute for Black Catholic Studies. I's about to get me some edumacation y'all, and start on my Master of Theology degree, going three weeks each summer for about five years. Let me tell you what a hail Mary pass this was. About three weeks ago, I was in session with my spiritual director. I was going on and on about the awful stuff from my past that keeps showing up in my present. Lordy mercy things are a little (a lot) messy now in a sistah's soul. I love that he didn't tell me to "get over it." Of course, I totally need to get over it, but the fact is, that isn't particularly easy. So what he did was give me an assignment. Fr. Thul is a Jesuit, so his spirituality is firmly Ignatian. Those of you who are reading God Alone is Enough may have seen the endorsement of another Jesuit I know and love, Fr. James Martin. I'd started reading Fr. Jim's book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything. The book is about Ignatian spirituality, which the faithful to see God's action in everything. God IS in everything, and even before I read Fr. Jim's book, he'd told me on Facebook to follow my desire to do the Spiritual Exercises. So I got myself a spiritual director he recommended, and we began. Only I had all this crap in my head. So I had to start very small. Not get over it, but do one thing, and one thing alone.
Fr. Thul told me that I had to narrow my field of vision so that I could only see this one spectacular thing. I expected that to be the beautiful face of my Beloved. Fr. Thul pulled a fast one on me, however. The one spectacular person I was to look at was not Jesus, but myself. He said to only look at what is good about me.
Uhhhhh. Right. But I began. I'm still working on it, and it ain't easy!
Fr. Thul also told me, as an aside, to follow my desire. I want to work for Jesus. I have ever since I met him, and cried when I read Paul's words, "Let your women keep silent in the church." I want to work at my church and for my Church, and I want to study the things of God. I also want to be me, and see myself in the story of God, as authentically as possible. It's like my book cover. It could cause some people (poor, misguided souls) to think my book is "black", meaning that only black people will like it. But Thea Bowman taught me to embrace who I am--black and Catholic. She ditched her nuns habit for a dashiki dress. My daily habit is more like a black t-shirt and jeans, with a tattoo prominently (and permanently) scrolling across my arm announcing, "Christ still sends me roses." And too many bracelets. Let's not forget the saint bracelets. My publishing house put a black woman on the cover, because I, a black author, wrote it. They thought it suited me, and it isn't a "black" book, it's a book about prayer for anyone who wants to practice Christian prayer. Anyway, I left that spiritual direction session, and made two phone calls. One was to Lexington's seminary. Slam! The door closed so fast it almost blew my hair back. Then I called Xavier's IBCS's office. It was past the deadline. For everything. But oddly, my new guardian angel said, "Submit your paperwork anyway." I did, and against all odds, I'm in, and even got a scholarship. A good one. I start in eight days. My friends, THIS IS CRAZY.
So, I'll be gone for three weeks. I'm so excited I'm a little sick about it. And all pride aside, I'm taking donations from anybody who feels inclined to help me get to NOLA, and have the joy of actually eating. Things happened so fast, I could hardly prepare financially, but surely, if God has done all this, he'll provide.
I'd have told you about this yesterday, but my son got hit by a car. I know that sounds ridiculously awful, but the truth is, Kamau is fine. He's great lovies, and only ended up with a sprained ankle, and some body aches and pains. The Lord really is astounding in his goodness. His mercy endures forever. I wanted to tell you that I'm going to be going a little nuts getting ready to go to New Orleans, so bear with me. I'll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, enjoy the blog tour. See the post below this one, or click here.
I love y'all so much!
And T., I still haven't made it to the post office! :(