As part of my formation in the Jesuits, I studied philosophy and theology at Loyola University of Chicago. I loved everything about Loyola; however I really struggled in my studies of philosophy. Today we celebrate the feast of St. John Berchmans, S.J. I had a special devotion to Berchmans when I began my study of philosophy. Like, St. John Berchmans, who died in his third year of philosophy studies in Rome in 1621, I felt like I was dying when I was studying philosophy in Chicago in 2009!

In all seriousness, what St. John Berchmans is known for as a saint is his how he lived his life. Berchmans embodied the “joyful noise” we read about in today’s psalm. His deep love for God lead him to find joy in even the mundane tasks of life, like studying philosophy! By Berchmans’ example, we are called to make a joyful noise to God with our lives as well. His life reminds us to look for the joy and passion in our life and to play there.  We can draw strength and support from God’s graces at work in our life. It is from our passion and joy that we can find God and follow God through the mundane and hardships of our life.

Now that I am back in the classroom studying theology, I look to Berchmans again to try and follow in his footsteps. I hope and pray that through the intercession of St. John Berchmans, you can draw closer to God and find support from God’s graces found in your passion and joy.

St. John Berchmans, pray for us!

—Adam DeLeon, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic studying theology in preparation for ordination at Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.