Yesterday I met some old friends for a belated birthday celebration. One of these is someone I have known all my life (we grew up a few doors away from each other), while I first encountered the other at primary school, and became friends as teenagers. Each one, in her own way, is woven into my life, part of who and what I am, as only old friends can be. Both of them still live in the area in which I grew up, so the visit took me past the bottom of my old road, past familiar landmarks and old haunts. These places, too, are part of me.
In the intervening 17 years this friend and I have had plenty of opportunity to deepen our friendship. Time and again she challenges and inspires me, teaching me new things about myself and this tremendous life and charism to which I am called. The Constitutions truly are an old friend, increasingly woven into the very fabric of my life and identity. I look forward to more of this process, more opportunity to get to know her even better.