"If you really love one another, you will not be able to avoid making sacrifices." - Mother Teresa
As we dig deeper into what it means to be a community of people who love God and one another, my teammates and I have struggled through conversations and experiences trying to figure out how to relate to one another, deny ourselves, and sacrifice for one another and our greater Fifth Ward community.
Recently I have found myself understanding the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi in a new context:
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.
Dying to the false self fabricated by social compulsions and awakening to the true self completely enmeshed with Divine Spirit is a mystery I will never fully grasp. But being here, being challenged to love and serve in new ways, leads me to a deeper understanding of St. Francis' words and their relevance in my life.
I have also been ruminating on a thought from Henri Nouwen for the past few days: "What else is anger than the impulsive response to the experience of being deprived?" A friend rephrased this last night when he told me and my friends something to the effect of, "I pray to not feel entitled. Then I realize how angry I get when I am not getting something I feel entitled to: quiet time, certain foods, time being used in the ways I want." As an exercise in self discipline and self analysis, whenever I am angry, frustrated, or annoyed, I am asking myself, "What do I feel entitled to right now? What do I feel I am being deprived of?" After stepping back from the situation, looking deeply at my own motives and reasoning, I can then make a decision to respond.
MEET THE FAMILY!
I would love to introduce you to the team that challenges me and grows me, helps me love, and helps me learn:
In the back row, from left to right: Caleb Groth, Heather Chappelle, and Charlie O'Connor. In the front row: Kira Echeandia, Rediet Mulugeta, me, and Taylor Burch.
You can click on each of their names to read a little bit more about them and, if you'd like, to donate to their Mission Year funds. Each of us has a goal of $12,000 in order to get us through Mission Year, and we're doing it together! If you feel led to love on one of my teammates by providing for them financially, it would be such a blessing! I am also still in need of financial support, having raised $7,500 out of the total $12,000. If you'd like to support me, you can donate directly to my fund HERE. Or by clicking on the donate button on the right side of this page.