God’s voice is sometimes loud and sometimes as soft as a drop of water.
For me cleaning is hectic, but it is also a heck of a lot of fun. Joyful even! Finding old objects invokes time and place, like an engraved flask I got for being a groomsman when I was a teenager. There are also pictures of friends and receipts from meals long forgotten. I am also thinking of spiritual cleanings, and the moment to examine where I am and where I have been.
At the beginning of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Andrew Milewski, S.J. reflects on how a language exchange turned into a place of encounter and friendship. In this place of encounter, he wrestles with how to pray and have solidarity with the diverse Asian-American community and his friends who are a part of that group.
Names are powerful. I had a professor in college who I have gotten to know well since I graduated, and I still cannot call her by her first name. Conversely, I have graduate professors who insist I call them by their first names. Then there’s my local parish priest back home whom I call “father” because nothing else fits. Names, what we call people, matter. Read how the names of Saints can inspire our lives.
For the first time during my break, I was able to concentrate on something. I began sketching a chubby leg, two hands hovering above a halo. This was the infant Jesus that would become the object of my prayer over the Christmas season. What I created also became my prayer, a prayer to be less active and more present.
Perhaps, like me, you are discerning how you should spend your holidays? You are praying and asking God to show you how to be present to your loved ones and still keep them safe. As I pray with all my anger, frustration, loneliness, and hunger for loved ones this holiday season, I am reminded that God often provides for us in ways we don’t expect or even necessarily want.
I found myself in the community garden here at Loyola University Chicago, where students and Jesuit scholastics volunteer. We harvest the crops and donate them to a local food pantry, I was told, and the idea of helping out appealed to me. So much more happens in the garden that day. Take a moment to read and reflect with me on an experience of a God who nurtures.