The idea that everything works out for the best in the end is often regarded as a truism, but there are many times when it is in fact true. The 16th September is a significant date in my life story - twice over. Twenty-five years ago today something happened to change the plans and dreams I had been making for myself. What I had thought I would do, where I thought I'd do it - everything changed. It was devastating, disheartening... but - though I couldn't know it at the time - it would all work out beautifully, gloriously, amazingly, for the best.
And so two years later the 16th September quietly became a pivotal date for me again. I didn't engineer it, didn't set out to influence the coincidence of dates; it simply happened that on 16th September 1993, having written a few weeks earlier to ask if I could join the Society, I had my first meeting with the RSCJ Provincial Superior. Just as my life had changed irreversibly two years before, so it did now. The Provincial was positive and welcoming; my application was accepted by her and her Council, and so four months later I became a candidate, embarking on the first stage of formation. The 16th September, in my story, was thus redeemed, in the loveliest, most unexpected of ways - making today a silver anniversary I can celebrate.
I know that if the tough events of 16th September 1991 had never happened my life would have been very different. Certainly, I might never have joined the Society: thus I would never have known the joy and the grace of being an RSCJ, never have even begun to plumb the depths of the Heart of Jesus, never have experienced the growth and the challenge, known many of the people I now know or done many of the things I have done. That's not to say I wouldn't have been happy, and I would still have had a life with God - but I wouldn't have known the supreme happiness of being where and what I was created to be. And that makes all the difference.
Some things do work out for the best - and NOTHING is irredeemable, not even a nondescript, random date, a mere square on a calendar.