Monday, September 21, 2009

The Voice Within

At Mass last night, a charismatic priest began his homily by saying he was a missionary a few years back. A missionary in Latin America he continues, and I lean forward. He continues some more, explaining the country he worked in- Ecuador. And in Ecuador he tells the audience, he came across a place that changed his life: The Working Boys Center. My heart beat taps an excited dance. A smile appears on my face and all the noise that has needlessly occupied my life for these past few months ceases for a brief moment.

There is a place where children quite literally work to feed themselves he tells this group. And my eyes closed and images of these little loved ones came to the forefront. I felt at peace, I felt connected to a part of me that I am still struggling to incorporate in my current setting. His homily ends rather abruptly, and we sit in silence for a few minutes as though he is beckoning his listeners to make his story their own.

It brought to light a familiar theme in my life throughout my readjustment phase: the struggle to tell the unique stories my journey into solidarity has afforded me. A gifted speaker, I have floundered when sharing my experiences. A passionate advocate, I have sat quietly on the sidelines letting opportunities to educate and raise awareness pass. I have beat myself up a lot, and felt as though I were in a race against time to right these wrongs, so to speak.

Stories yearn to be told, and I left Mass realizing those stories are not mine to tell so much as they are Gods stories that are longing to be told with me as an active collaborator. I have always readily been able to identify God in the other, but struggled to find where God dwells within me. In Ecuador, I found that connection. Today, after a year of many ups and downs, I am learning again to establish that trust in God so I can tell the stories through my lifeworks I so long to tell. I found a quote I thought explains it best. Below that, a video that explains what I have to motivate me to continue on in seeking the Magis within me.

“For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self.” Thomas Merton New Seeds of Contemplation