Last week was my first attempt at writing a blog entry. I liked it so much I thought I would write a second one. (Anyone who knows me understands that this is a tongue in cheek comment). Well, actually, I did like it, I just happened to fret over it for what seemed like an eternity! (Anyone who knows me understands that this is a true comment). So, here goes….
Over the Christmas holiday I started the process of moving from one room at the motherhouse to another room that is right next door, same hallway. One might consider this a simple task…but for me, not so. I tend to be, what’s the word, sentimental. The simple task of opening a box and placing its contents on a shelf turns into a movie reel in my mind playing the memories of my life and where I was when that picture was taken or when I received that particular item. With that being said, it was finally last Tuesday, January 3rd (the day of my first blog on hope and trust) that I placed the last of my “stuff” in my new room. I locked my door and headed to supper.
That very evening, after supper, I was going to town with several other sisters to attend a prayer service for National Migration Week. When I returned to my room to get my coat I discovered that the key to my door would not work, not even the master key would gain me access to my room. My first reactions were frustration and aggravation…then a small voice in my head said, “remember that post you just wrote about trusting in God?”
I decided to go on and go to the prayer service with a new mindset, after all, it was a prayer service for migrants and refugees and other vulnerable people. So here I was in thirty something degree weather, locked out of a place to stay, with no coat, no money, no identification and only the clothes on my back. My predicament would be very temporary but those we were praying for face more difficult circumstances.
We had a great discussion on the drive to town as I shared my story with the other sisters. What I found hopeful was the way each sister was trying to ease my misery by offering me the opportunity to sleep in the recliner in her room, soap and towels to be clean, one offered a new toothbrush that had never been opened (that was nice), and even a gown to sleep in. I am happy to say, that when I returned home all was well! Sr. Rose Jean was able to get the door open while I was gone.
I compared my situation with the plight of those who seek shelter and safety far away from home. Mine was quickly resolvable because I had advocates to help me out and love me despite my circumstances. What about the 65 million refugees around the world? How are we able to share the light and love of Christ and bring safety and hope into their lives?
MERCIFUL AND LOVING FATHER,
We beseech you, open our hearts
so that we may provide hospitality and refuge
to migrants who are lonely, afraid,
and far from their homes.
Give us the courage to welcome every stranger
as Christ in our midst,
to invite them into our communities
as a demonstration of Christ’s love for us.
We pray that when we encounter the other,
we see in her the face of your Son,
when we meet a stranger,
that we take his hand in welcome.
Help us to live in solidarity with one another,
to seek justice for those who are persecuted
and comfort for those who are suffering.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your
Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the
Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
This prayer comes from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops