Happy birthday, Boo!
Today my sister Elizabeth, also known as Boo, celebrates her 18th birthday. I spoke with Boo on the phone this morning and she said she didn't feel any different than she did yesterday. This is about par for the course, as I didn't feel instantly transmogrified on my 18th birthday either. In fact, the only birthdays which felt like milestones for me were my 21st and 25th - the first for perhaps obvious reasons, and the second because I realized I was now closer to being 30 than to being 20. Anyhow, I hope the readers of this blog will join me in wishing Boo a happy birthday.
Today is also the Memorial of St. John Berchmans, a 17th century Jesuit who is chiefly remembered - as one of Ours mordantly observed - "because he followed all the rules." Entering the Society of Jesus in 1612 despite stiff opposition from his family, Berchmans attracted notice for the joy with which he devoted himself to the routine of the novitiate ordo and for his rigorous penances. As a scholastic, he studied so hard that he literally ruined his health, dying in 1615 a month after completing his comprehensive philosophy exams (the famous De Universa or "De U," which still exists). Berchmans passed away before he'd had much chance to direct his considerable zeal to apostolic work, but with the witness of his brief life he might be considered a Jesuit analogue to Therese of Lisieux. If it's possible to speak of a "little way" of the magis (and I think it is), John Berchmans would have to be seen as an exemplar. AMDG.