A JOURNEY OF GRACE
"Nine Days of Grace" is a journey our Jesuit Community in San Francisco are going through this past week in a half. It has been based in the richness of the Gospels, the reading of the qualities of love from 1 Corinthians 13 and the humble prayer of Father Pedro Arupe, S.J.:
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
Each day and evening has had a focus on love. Love is kind, love is merciful, love is hope and humble. Love endures all things. Wow, wait a minute, all things? The other evening I found myself confessing to one of our priests the unforgiveness I have been carrying towards some long time and dear friends of mine. It has gnawed at me and caused deep inner turmoil and grief. I am accustomed to letting go and by grace have often found it easy to forgive but this time has been difficult. Love endures all things has been one of the messages and it has resounded deeply in my soul.
The priest looked at me knowingly, with compassion and looked deeply not so much into my eyes but into my soul and shared his own journey and then said, "Ask Jesus how he endures you, ask him to remind you and say the "Our Father." Woe, "and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Stopped, dead in my tracks, deep conviction and awareness but with it grace. The grace that is so willingly given to me with mercy. It is a digging into my true self that longs to have my heart converted and to have it be authentically so. To endure also means to face, to suffer and so it is I have been asked to do not for its own sake but for love and grace to do its work deeply so it might breathe life not only into my soul but to those who I forgive. In so doing grace bears the fruit of love and in so doing freedom and resurrection life.
May it be so.