Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind...
Luke 14: 13
So, it's been a little over a week since I became a second year novice - an apostolic novice... re-entering the life of ministry as a Marianist Sister. Viewing the world, relationships and the "work" I've been given to do through the lens of the Marianist charism and living as Mary... bringing Christ to the world as Mary did/does. That's the "objective" of this second year. It's going back to the active life, but changed somehow or in a different way.
How's it going so far? So far, so good, I suppose. It's a little strange, in all honesty, to see my calendar so full again. After a year of not really having much on my calendar at all... it's strange to see meetings, retreats, work etc. taking up the white space of the calendar I carry. There's a part of me that's really excited to be reaching this phase - as you may recall from my previous post. Then there's a bit of trepidation... will I be able to maintain balance?? That's a big question for me right now...
Another big question and my prayer for this phase of life is, "God, what is the call? What are the needs of our world that are not being met and how are you calling me to put my gifts at the service of these needs??"
As you may know, a majority of my time this semester is focused on issues of social justice... in many different ways, but still most revolving around living out Catholic Social Teaching (still called the best kept secret of the Catholic Church?). This is relatively new territory for me. So, I imagine that I'll learn a lot this semester... especially about poverty, homelessness, immigration, and unfair social systems. Hence, the quote at the top of the post from today's Gospel...
Now, the way I see it, God wouldn't present me with the opportunity to grow in this way unless the intent is for me to use what I learn in some capacity in the future. While not trying to "live in the future," I'm trying to be aware of God's call through each experience and encounter.
Last weekend I was blessed to attend a retreat entitled "Journey to Justice" organized by the Dayton area's Weavers of Justice and the Archdiocesan Catholic Social Action office. What a retreat! I won't go into all the details, but it was eye-opening for me. We had presentations by a campus minister for peace and justice from the University of Dayton, a Scripture scholar who is new to the Dayton area and teaches at Wright State (religious studies?), and the director of a home for homeless men trying to get back on their feet. We also had talks given by 3 homeless men who live in the shelter.
I feel that I can't just have these experiences and leave unchanged. There is a call. There is a path towards which God is trying to guide me. Pray that I might be patient in the unfolding, but also that I might have the courage to follow where God leads.
Many blessings to all who read this!!!