Yesterday I had to give an hour long presentation on Matthew 9:1-8 for my seminar class at the Gregorian University.

Before class I was in the computer lab printing off some handouts for the presentation, when amidst the stress, I was filled with awe and gratitude. I just found myself in awe of the places God has taken me since saying Yes to his will. Places and situations which a few years ago I would have never imagined remotely possible. I felt this becaue there I was sitting in a computer lab which was not unlike any computer lab at Mizzou or in high school, but this time I was sitting amongst students from all over the world in a place far away from home. This was reinforced when I then went to my seminar where the 14 students come from 8 different countries. A place and situation I would have never imagined, but there it was, a total gift.

Then in the evening as I prayed and reflected some more I began to recall so many of these gifts and other moments in which I was able to stop and realize how I was in a place I never would have imagined, such as Albania.

Furthering that reflection I was going through some old writings when I came across a piece found below from my first semester of seminary, in which one sees the same reaction of awe. Now nearly four years later some things haven’t changed. Going through some of these writings for the no longer active Jeff City Seminarians Blog was interesting to see parrallels with my current situation. I’ll try to post some more with updated reflections in the next few days and weeks.

A trip to the Nelson-Atkins

December 7, 2009 by Geoffrey A. Brooke Jr.
This semester I am taking a class in basic design, sometimes known as art class. It’s actually a rather enjoyable class. This past Saturday we had a “field trip” to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Due to a variety of understandable reasons the trip ended up being a rather small group. I went along with a fellow transfer junior from Wichita and our instructor, Fr. Pachomius Meade OSB, who is originally from Palmyra, Mo.

I really had a wonderful time. It was nice that the group was so small because we could actually see what we wanted to see and not follow some big group around in a rushed manner.

We primarily looked at two types of art, the first being Baroque religious art, the second being 20th century contemporary art. I think the religious art is for obvious reasons, the contemporary art was focused towards our final project for the class.

When I was younger my parents used to always take me to museums, most of the time I failed to appreciate the art. However, as I have gotten older, and perhaps wiser, I have come to appreciate the art much more. My main source of appreciation comes from a source of amazement. I find myself amazed at what some people can do with a paintbrush. Art is not one of the gifts I received from God, however, I can see it and respect it in the work of others who do have that gift, while being grateful for the many gifts I have received from God.

At one point I couldn’t help but think about the path I’ve taken the past 15 months or so to lead me to where I was on Saturday. Last fall, I would have found it hard, although not impossible, but hard to believe that 15 months later I would be in an art museum with someone who went to KU for two years and a monk. I couldn’t help but smile and be grateful for all the blessings I have been able to receive in the past several months, one of those being this fun, and educational trip to the art museum.

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