Several years ago, my Jesuit classmate in Japan, Akamatsu-San, had the misfortune to have his family home burn down. They lost everything. To my surprise, he told me that the thing his family missed most was their photographs. Furniture and appliances could be replaced, but none of their family snapshots could be recreated.
Over the years, I’ve sometimes wondered what I would grab from the house in the face of some dreadful catastrophe. I’m lucky that my sister has copies of all our family photographs, so I’ve decided that, if I have to leave my room suddenly, the two things I’d want to take with me are the picture of Ignatius Loyola given to me by my Novice Master for my ordination and the Celtic pewter Crucifix that was handed to me in Dublin on the 24th September 1976 when, as a very callow youth, I was presented with my Vow Cross.
Both these items have been beside my bed for decades and have traveled with me from Dublin to Paris to Tokyo to Syracuse to Los Angeles and now to two different communities in Chicago. I pray that they will always be close to me ( but I do realize that it more important for Jesus and Inigo to be in my heart and soul than at my bedside.)