The past three days, I had spent my time in malverne, Philadelphia (I don’t even know if that’s necessarily how you spell it!) As Cabrini Mission Corps, we were invited to the annual assembly, held by the missionary sisters of the sacred heart of jesus. Haha yeah, you like the long title? Well, for short, you can call them MSCs, or Cabrini Sisters. That usually gets the point and understanding across!
In a nutshell, my weekend was spirit-filled. Filled with the goodness of the spirit in the talks given by the speakers, in the reflections and discussions, in the one-on-one conversations with the men and women heading up their individual ministries, and most certainly in the unifying under the charism of Mother Cabrini. I can not begin to explain to you how great it was to sit at tables with such experience, and zest, and boldness – through the sisters and through other lay missionaries. These people have fully dedicated their lives to the missions set up by Mother Cabrini and to the mission that Jesus had paved for them. In the spirit of disponbilita, or, going wherever you are needed, just wow. There was so much in that room. It is a spirit of putting yourself last, trusting in the Lord, and relying on God’s strength to get you to where it is He wants you to go. Being guided by Mother Cabrini, the patroness of the immigrants, it is not surprising that many of the sisters receive proper documentation (travelling from country to country) with such remarkably fast turn around times!
Something that was really made apparent to me this weekend, truly, is the boldness and steadfast ways of Mother Cabrini. With any challenges she was faced with, boldly she went, believing and trusting in the ways of the Lord, knowing that while she was faced with resistance, there is a God that was bigger and there was a world full of missions waiting to be embarked upon. And so she went. And a hundred plus years later, these sisters are still at it…in Swaziland, in baguio city, Philippines, in Australia…all over the world. Talk about going wherever you are needed!
Another aspect that I would like to share is with the spirit of discernment. It is a common theme that has been resounding itself in my mind, heart, and soul, for the past months, and of course, this weekend, as I continue to explore the ways that God is working in my life. Discernment is making decisions, rooted in prayer – prayerfully making decisions – inviting God into those decisions, listening to ourselves, listening to our hearts. In essence, while it involves ourselves, it is also a surrendering process to God and His dreams for us. The key is – be ok with not getting clear cut answers when we want them, but trusting in the guidance of the spirit. We learned that with discernment, it’s always a choice between two goods…of course if there is an option that is poignantly bad, that is already thrown out and ruled out. With discernment, it involves deciding between two good things. The importance of reflection and trust in ourselves was really made apparent to me today. What is life-giving to me? Where will that fulfillment come from?
Tonight was especially blessed with the opening liturgy for the 19th annotation of the ignatian spiritual exercises that I began a week ago. Me and mary gathered at my spiritual director’s house, and we shared a mass in her living room, with about 10 other people, also going through the exercises, including their spiritual directors. Wow, such a beautiful mass, and so happy we got to make it back to new york ontime to attend. They pretty much waited for mary and I to get there, and then began the liturgy. It was such a blessing to share that space with great community. To be surrounded by others walking the same journey, with the same purpose of wanting to learn more about our personal relationships with God – community is so precious. It was in that room today, that I felt the Holy Spirit really moving within me. That is where my joy comes, and that is where the hyperness comes from too, I think. I get excited really easily, especially when it comes to talks about spirituality, and hearing about how the Spirit is moving in other people’s lives. It just makes God so real, and it is through people that God really makes himself known to me. oh, so good! I feel so affirmed, and so blessed to be called upon to join in this mission of spreading God’s love to other people. And with everything that is to come, may I be open. God is, indeed, a God of surprises!
My brother, my sister, I pray for you, and you pray for me. yay! Thank you for coming on this journey with me.