Daily Step – Savor the graces and rest in communion with one another.


On the seventh day God rested and savored what God had created, and on the 11th day of travel & seminar, the North American delegation (and all other delegations who chose to stay one extra day) rested and savored the graces and the community that had been forged. 

And it felt oh so very good!

Not often when I attend a conference such as this one do I get the time (or maybe allow for the time?) and the space to put the work aside and just be with my new friends and colleagues before heading home. It is definitely an added bonus especially for a conference as important and widely global as this was.

During our day, some of us visited temples, others learned about the art of batik making and visited silver shops, still others visited the large and crowded market to buy souvenirs to mark the time and convey it to loved ones, and the rest laid by the pool and rested in the warm gaze of God. Whatever we did, it was clear that our hearts were indeed full and we longed to grab hold of the fullness as one often does at the tail end of a spiritual retreat. We also desired to hold onto the passion that had permeated all of our meetings, both the social and the more formal ones. Our hearts had undergone a transformation and were now sitting in our open palms ready to be an offering to the world.

But we were also, or at least I was also … bone tired. 

For me, a week of deep prayer and conversation and listening to one another was nothing short of exhausting, and I acknowledge I had the privilege of most of the presentations, masses, and conversations offered in a familiar tongue. At the times when I was working to reconnect with my Spanish that I had let lapse over time, I had just a small taste of what others had been experiencing forcing themselves to focus and respond to me in their second or third language. This understanding prompted me to write down a reminder to myself that working on my Spanish was not just an opportunity for growth but also an opportunity for increased empathy and love for my neighbors.

On Saturday, however, I savored the grace of that acknowledgment and rested in the understanding that it was okay to not start that particular goal right away… at least not before I stepped back on American soil!

This is something in particular that I will take away from this week. I know there is a great deal of work to be done and the time is NOW. We can not simply stand still. But we need stillNESS in order to truly partner with God in God’s project in a way that brings depth and change.

As the prayer recalled on the last day said: “We are workers, not master builders, ministers not messiahs..” (Prophets of a Future Not Our Own). I would extend the prayer to say – we are coworkers and collaborators, leaders by example and invitation not control or domination. We are, indeed, “prophets of a future not our own.”

It does not all rest in us. 

It also does not all rest in God.

The image I am left with is an extension of the image of Jesus holding his Sacred Heart in his hand and offering it to us with an open palm. In my imagination, the image is no longer just Jesus but each and every one of us standing with our hearts in our hands, extended out in offering to one another. 

This is what we are about.

Let us rest in this truth.

I am currently traveling home from Yogyakarta, Indonesia where I was one of twelve North American delegates, 100 global delegates overall, meeting to discuss Catholic/Jesuit identity and in-depth faith formation in Jesuit schools at II Seminar JESEDU-Jogja2024. Since I keep forgetting about the 12 hour time change and texting all those I love at 2 in the morning, I decided I would write some blog posts about the most important moments for me and perhaps the moments that might stir something in you as well. Thanks for reading! I will have more to come as I continue to unpack the graces of this week!

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