field notes Compassion
leaving me hopeless and depressed; there was an empty space in my heart that I could not fill. After all the years of knowing him, and my deep love for him, he was suddenly ripped away from me without warning. However, after about a year, I realized I was able to relate to people who were having problems of their own. In these instances I felt like I could make a difference in people’s lives. Perhaps they would not feel stuck and alone in that dark hole of grief where I was caught. Knowing the feeling of not being able to prevent what happened to my friend, and thinking if I had done something differently my friend would have lived, led me to my compassion for others in pain and grief.
This compassion now plays a major role in my desire to go to college and become a veterinarian. All of my life, I have had countless animals ranging from dogs to cats, bunnies to rats, birds to fish, and frogs to hermit crabs. My family has always had about six animals or more at the same time, and regardless of how many there were, each one was special to me in his or her own unique
FRANCISCAN RENEWAL CENTER
PRAYER IN THE CAVE OF THE HEART Silent Contemplative Retreat October 1-3, 2010 Fr. Cyprian Consiglio, OSB
THE SACRED ART OF LIVING & DYING Unit 1: Dealing with Spiritual Pain November 5-6, 2010
BIRTHING CHRIST Advent Retreat December 3-5, 2010 Michael Crosby, OFM. Cap
NEW YEAR’S EVE RETREAT December 31-January 2, 2010 Br. Kelly Cullen, OFM
We offer Private Retreats all year long.
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Volume 4, Issue 3 2
hen I was in eighth grade, I suffered through one of the worst possible events—my best friend died by suicide. His death completely devastated me,
way. My relationship with these animals strengthened my ability to love and care for others. However it was not always me caring for the animals; many times it was their pure love and affection which I needed at crucial times that comforted me, providing the motivation I needed so desperately to keep moving forward. Yet, this is not the only reason I wish to become a veterinarian.
After having so many pets, and knowing friends who have pets, I know how shaken up people can become when their pet is sick or dies. Often, pets seem like the only ones who do not judge us for who we are and the choices we have made. Pets create the opportunity for us to have a deep, strong, and personal relationship, with a creature who gives us unconditional love. It is in these circumstances—when people are either losing the ones they love most, or think they might lose them—that I can relate and make a difference. By becoming a veterinarian, I am confident that I can help prevent suffering, offer sympathy, and aid people through hard times. After not being able to do this for my best friend, it is important to me that if I can, I will prevent tragedy from occurring in others’ lives. I believe that no matter who a person is, or the bad choices they have made, they do not deserve to be hopeless or alone when their pet is not well. Therefore, my desire to aid anyone who is suffering from ending up in the same place that I did a few years ago will be fulfilled through caring for animals, and in a broader sense, I will be helping others in a time of need.
—Andria Peter, San Clemente, California, USA (High School Class of 2010) R E F L E C T
Has a powerful personal experience shaped the work or service you offer in the world? Is this a topic to explore with your spiritual guide?
Seeking spiritual direction? Go to www.sdiworld.org
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