By: C. Hightower, S.J.
I would like to tell you a story about three roommates. Although all students, they had different personalities and interests. Perhaps they had not filled in their roommate preferences honestly or even had their parents fill it in for them (not that any parent would actually do such a thing!). Two of the students were what we would call traditional and the third was an older student who had been a soldier with combat experience. As you might imagine, at first, they did not see things eye to eye. One of the younger students liked the non-traditional student, respected his wisdom, and was in awe of his experience. The other student, not so much; in an interesting plot line, his older brothers had been in the opposing army of that of his new roommate. The roommates shared the same faith tradition and little else.
Together they had to discern and find the things that would draw them together, not only as roommates, but as friends. The three wanted to find where God was present in their lives and committed themselves to this project. They recognized when the Dark Spirit was causing anxiety, setting up obstacles, giving false reasons to individual and communal actions and interpretations. They also recognized how the divine Spirit encouraged them, removed obstacles, gave strength, and allowed them to experience the joy of living freely.
The three spent four years together as roommates: praying, arguing, laughing, crying, rejoicing, struggling; living. They found how God was present in all their studies, actions, thoughts, and deeds. They found “God in all Things”. These three, along with their small group of friends, grounded in their study, their prayer, their companionship, and their love, went forward into the world and did great things. Of course, today we would expect nothing less of these three roommates: Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, and Peter Faber.