why “with restless hearts”
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee!
The above Augustine quote is one that I find myself returning to time and time again. I first heard it when I was at in the beginning stages of discovering my love of the Catholic Faith, and I was overcome at how beautifully it spoke to the mess of tension, desire, restlessness, and joy that I was experiencing at the time. It certainly does fit perfectly with the emotionally charged, consolation-filled days of reversion and conversion – but even several years, many doubts, and countless questions later, I still find myself being drawn to it and the truth it expresses about the human experience.
This blog was born out my desire to explore the restlessness of spirit that I – and I believe many Catholics, Christians, and people in general too – find myself in. I look around at the world and see so much good, beauty, truth, and potential, but at the same time I have the acute sense of being trapped, suffocated by our limitations as humans – tendencies toward violence, intolerance, egotism, indifference. Simply put, it is my attempt to engage and wrestle with the tensions that I encounter on a daily basis and try to understand them in a way that is not obsessed with proving right and wrong, at least acknowledges inevitable bias, and tries to see all things through the lens of Mercy.
My educational background is in anthropology and religious studies, and I typically bring both of those lenses to my formal writing and personal reflections. I am currently pursuing a theological master’s degree, and after that, I’ll either be PhD bound or take a break from school to gain some professional experience and satiate my desire for direct service. The two passions that seem to be ever swirling in my heart – at times in alignment with one another, at others, in seeming competition – are religious scholarship and community-based social ministry and outreach. Presumably, the next few years will help me start to find how best to combine the two for the service and love of God and others.
Other important things to know – one of my favorite places in the world is Rome (or as I mostly think of it, Catholic Disneyland), I have read the Harry Potter series a disturbingly high number of times, one of my favorite topics to discuss within Catholicism is the ever-changing role of religious communities, one of my favorite topics to discuss within the study of religion is the secular modern liberal metanarrative, I whole-heartedly believe that most of today’s social ills can be traced back to how we treat or mistreat our children, and my latest personal “project” is to try to develop a deeper Marian spirituality.
Thanks for stopping by – please read on and enjoy!
(header photo credit http://ty-rolka.deviantart.com/art/Panoramic-136466597)