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Read The Hobbit

I am convinced that high school seniors preparing to embark on their college experience at an authentically Catholic school ought to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s renowned work, The Hobbit. The story of Bilbo Baggins’ journey is the perfect model for the adventure of a student beginning their life in college. All of us can find ourselves in the character of Bilbo. We live in the comfort of our everyday routines, and we like to stay there. We enjoy the natural goods that the Lord has given us and cling to them in cowardice. Even more, like Bilbo, all of us are called on a wonderful adventure. We’re pulled out of the “hobbit holes” of our comfortable lives in order to cast our feeble nets deep for a weighty catch. We’re repulsed at times of having to make the leap, of having to leave all that is familiar behind for the great unknown. This is exactly the position in which many high school seniors find themselves as they prepare to embark on their college journeys and begin them.

Excited yet nervous, optimistic yet melancholic, high school seniors are called into the breach. Indeed, it is the Lord who calls. It is the Lord who, like Gandalf, wisely guides and draws you to an authentically Catholic university in order that He might lead you on the Way He has prepared for you. During the adventure, you’ll encounter the glorious things as well as the darkness of tribulation. You will run joyfully and freely on some days and crawl wearily on other days. Many days you’ll look back, back to that comfortable existence you once led in your “hobbit hole”, and long for it. Yet, despite this, you will also hear the gentle plea of the Master urging you to step out of the boat, and just when you feel you have given everything, it is His hand who will sustain you the rest of the way. In truth, we never know exactly where we are headed on our individual adventures with the Lord, but that’s because it is His adventure, not yours.

He conceals where you’re going next and doesn’t provide explicit instructions on how you’ll get there. In the midst of your fears and uncertainty, however, it is the Lord who graces you on each step of the journey with the love, healing, and growth He wants for you. Most of the way, you will feel nothing of His work within you, yet you can trust that He is indeed working out your salvation. In the end, all that He asks is that you surrender yourself to His loving Providence, for, in so doing, you will be formed ever more into His own Image. Walk the adventure with great confidence, my friends, for the Lord knows the Way to life in abundance.

Matthew Uzdavinis

Manager of Development

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