God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
I walked into the room with some greetings from the women, and I watched closely as they prepared one of their creative meals…sweet and sour noodles. I asked what they used to make it: ramen noodles, kool-aid and some other sauce. Whip it all together into a zip loc bag, place it on top of the water thermos, and ta-da – your meal for the evening, if you wanted a snack.
A new year with new beginnings and I am looking forward to bringing Eucharist with me in these upcoming visits. I figured I should step up my game when I visit the units, so this is what I came up with: my comfort cross, an icon of Mary, baby Jesus, and the three kings bringing gifts to Jesus, and a little statue of Mother Cabrini. The comfort cross was given to me by my spiritual director in New York, when I went through the 19th Annotation and I figured it would be a great thing for the women to hold when we would go around and do prayer intentions.
The icon was given to me by one of my dearest classmates Tom who is a missionary with his family in Senegal. He is one of the most fascinating people I have ever met with so much wisdom and experience from his mission life. He is a pastor with the Assemblies of God and he builds churches and tends to other needs in the community. Anyway, he got this in the Holy Land and sent it to me recently. He got it at the 6th station of the Via Dolorosa, where now stands the Church of the Holy Face & St. Veronica, which is run by the Little Sisters of Jesus. And these Sisters made the mural. So precious! I almost fell over when it came in the mail for me…I immediately knew that I would want this beautiful icon with me at my mini-altar set-up when I meet with the women. Very colorful, hopeful, and causes us to question, “What can we offer baby Jesus?”
Lastly, Mother Cabrini. Obviously. One of my biggest inspirations – she had to come with me for the ride.
Sure enough, I was sharing with the group Mother Cabrini’s mantra, “I can do all things through Christ who strengths me.” Before I even finished, one of the ladies finished my sentence and used her ten fingers to say the scripture. One word per finger. It rolled right off her tongue. It was awesome!
I am hopeful for the year ahead for my ministry with restorative justice and I look forward to the exciting things ahead. Here we go!