Upcoming JCSG Retreats & Events
How we handle things that happen to us, over which we have little control, is a crucial growth opportunity. A willingness to accept “What Is” is a choice not to close one’s eyes or futilely rant. It is instead a choice to trust that God is present in every situation. It is faith that God will use every opportunity to bring life out of human struggle, while inviting us to be part of the process.
“Sheltering in Place” takes on a spiritual dimension, when my deepest security is in God. When daily prayer connects me to God, my Rock and my Shelter, I receive the grace I need and humbly ask for. It may be the grace to be more patient while in close quarters for days (or weeks?) with my darling husband. It may be praying for peace as I face future uncertainties. It may be the grace to “go with the flow,” when things suddenly change and my plans are upset. All of these are ways to practice freedom from having to have things “my way.”
I also hope, now that I’m more at home and finally have the time I always say I don’t have enough of, that I will use the opportunity to appreciate the good things I have. Neighbors with a sense of humor, family members that think to call and see how I am, spring trees and daffodils announcing their presence, and a chance to knock out some of those books that have been accumulating on my table. This is less a time “to do,” and more a chance to relax and “be” – without retreating anywhere but the present moment.
Perhaps from the less pressured stance of more solitude, I hope we will also be able to see just how much we need to band together. (Even from six feet away!) If we are to grow as a culture from this experience, we will need to take stock of what it means to be a globally interdependent world.
But such an opportunity to grow spiritually as well! At the end of this health challenge, how do you and I hope we will have grown? (I don’t want to still be hoarding hand sanitizer or be full of anxiety when Easter arrives.) In what ways proper to Lent will you and I repent of blinded or selfish ways, and come to live more deeply Jesus’ Very Good News – that we are one Earth family, meant to care justly for the needs of one another?
God in All Things This Lent
Blossoming Fruit Tree at the Jesuit Center
— George W. Bur, SJ