I was rushing around like a chicken with its head cut-off yesterday! Had student-teaching, then I straight to dinner to pick up a to-go box, and then headed straight for my Peacemaker meeting. Gosh, I can’t wait to be done.
It was an interesting meeting, but not in a bad way. Our adviser, Campus Minister Maria Candelaria-Flukas, has a meeting with the Walsh Board of Directors on Friday. Quite a profound group, I must say. She wanted our input on what to say to during her presentation. So we spent the whole meeting, trying to define who we are and what we are about. You know, our identity.
It was a unique situation because the meeting was just Emily, Christian and I, a trio that has withstood the test of time (in more than one way, that’s for sure). Grant it, we have worked with two other Peacemakers along the way (Maria Conti and Dominica), so I don’t want to sound like we are anything too special. But, I think that if you asked any of us who has had the most influence on our lives while at Walsh, I would wager that we would all be pointing at each other (and others too, but that’s beside the point). And in my books, I tend to believe that is something to smile about.
I tend to believe that what has made our “tenure” so successful is not the Peace Maker program specifically, but the relationship that we have together. I have always thought that our relationship is pretty neat; In a lot of ways, we’re like family. I mean were always bickering with each other, laughing, and talking about things that are well below “scratching the surface”. Definitely not shallow friendships in sense. In our time, I have never felt that one person has ever tried to “out-do” the other. We appreciate each others own God-given gifts, and we always celebrate their accomplishments. Even better, in our own ways, we push each other to be better people.
To be honest though, that still doesn’t fully define the dynamic. One day, I was watching a video by Fr. Barron on friendship, and a light bulb went off in my head.
The great philosopher, Aristotle, coined the term “The Transcendent Third” in reference to what makes a friendship endure the test of time. He says that a friendship will endure if the friends are united in something that is greater than any of the individuals themselves. Otherwise, the friendship will dismantle when conflicts arise (bickering, difference of opinion, personality clashes, distrust, etc), because the focus in mainly, if not solely on the self. So when you are in some sort of disadvantage, there is no good reason to stick with the friendship. I would say for us, the outside “thrust” could be many things, but above all, our faith in Christ. And to describe what that means, is a whole topic in itself. In short though, our journey has consisted of numerous occasions of prayer, reading the Bible, retreats, adoration, going to Mass, and discussing different faith related topics. As Emily said last night, our overall mission in life is to get “to eternal life”; transcendence, in its truest sense.
Overall, I guess my point is that collectively, we have a pretty impressive resume as Peacemakers. But what is it all of it worth–the friendships, good deeds, programs, acknowledgements, etc–if it wasn’t for God? There is so much more than the here and now!
How I wonder what the world might be like, if more friendships were like this.