If I do not become a Saint when I am young, I shall never become one. – St. John Berchmans

I was baptized under the protection of the patron of altar boys: St. John Berchmans. I read about him once and found some facts about him that turned me ashamed and felt so burdened: he is just a young man, yet is called holy. He loved to make pilgrimages, walking barefoot through journeys of miles while praying the Rosary Prayer. He kept himself holy and clean of sins until he died at the age of 22, which granted him the beatification.

A lot of things had happened since my last 25th birthday on 2012. Among them, two things are very memorable: Teramo Jakarta 2013 (a youth event held by Oblates of Mary Immaculate – Indonesian Province) and Magis Jakarta Community (a Jesuit/SJ youth community). In Teramo Jakarta 2013, I learned deeper the meaning of true friendships, struggles, and service. It was the one event in which I was touch for the very first time by the Blessed Sacrament in an Adoration.

In Magis Jakarta Community, I learned deeper about the true meaning of life, its purposes, and things that help us to always be connected to God. In the community formation process, I learned about the First Principle and Foundation of the St. Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises:

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created. From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it. For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.

Manusia diciptakan untuk memuji, menghormati serta mengabdi Allah Tuhan kita, dan dengan itu menyelamatkan jiwanya. Ciptaan lain di atas permukaan bumi diciptakan bagi manusia untuk menolongnya dalam mengejar tujuan ia diciptakan. Karena itu manusia harus mempergunakannya, sejauh itu menolong untuk mencapai tujuan tadi dan harus melepaskan diri dari barang-barang tersebut sejauh itu merintangi dirinya. Oleh karena itu, kita perlu mengambil sikap lepas bebas  terhadap segala ciptaan tersebut, sejauh pilihan merdeka ada ada pada kita dan tak ada larangan. Maka dari itu dari pihak kita, kita tidak memilih kesehatan lebih daripada sakit, kekayaan lebih daripada kemiskinan, kehormatan lebih daripada penghinaan, hidup panjang lebih daripada pendek. Begitu seterusnya mengenai hal-hal lain yang kita inginkan dan yang kita pilih ialah melulu apa yang lebih membawa ke tujuan kita diciptakan.

In the community, I also learned about some contemplation exercises, to help me find silence during the business of the day, to examine the life spent and find God in every little thing that I have experienced.

November 26th is St. John Berchmans’ feastday. In this day, I just found out that he is a Jesuit, a very holy and perfect young man. Today, in this 26th birthday, having St. John Berchmans as a patron and knowing that he spent his life practicing the Ignatian spirituality, I just realized that I’m still far from his example, I’m still nothing compared to him. After having a lil bit of reflection on how my life has been going, I found a perfect birthday resolution to accomplish within the next 1 year of my life: live by the First Principle and Foundation of St. Ignatius Loyola, and create silence during the business of my days to find God and talk to Him. I may succeed, I may fail. But I guess that’s the dynamic of life and the Spiritual Exercises of the saint. Afterall, quoting my patron’s words: “If I don’t become a Saint when I am young, I shall never become one.”. If we don’t start to live in holiness when we are young, perhaps we could never do.