The Gospel has a story about a young man who, rather than give all to the poor, went away sad, because he had many possessions. It makes me nostalgic.
One of the great Renaissance artists painted a picture of that young man, and we had a copy of that painting halfway down the stairway at the major seminary I attended from 1947 to 1953. Six times a day over six years, my six seminary classmates and I rattled past that picture, and each time, we gave it a thought.
Seminary life was pretty severe back then. We each wore a full-length black cassock from six in the morning till nine at night, switching into play clothes for an hour and a half in the afternoon. Except for forty-five minutes in the morning, and forty-five minutes in the evening, and for that hour and a half in the afternoon, we had to keep silence, not being allowed to even exchange a few words.
I guess the stiff discipline worked in making us somewhat reliable. Towards the end of that sixth year, the chief priest came into our classroom, issuing our assignments. Al was sent to work in Mindanao in the Philippines, Hughie went to upper Burma, Dave and I were sent to Korea, Ray to the Virgin Islands, and Tom Normanly to Bolivia.
None of us did anything great in the countries we were sent to, but none of us was a rich young man to start with.
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