Friendship

Friendship

I had just joined the community and I was filled with joy and enthusiasm, learning my way through the daily schedule of prayer, community time, chores, studies, and apostolate. The call from Jesus had touched and transformed my heart, making it burn with the desire to give myself to him, and to go out and bring him to many others. I wasn’t really looking for anything more, since I felt I had everything, but our God is a God of abundance. One Sunday afternoon, taking advantage of some free time, I and another young woman in formation decided to go out for a walk and to play at one of the parks in Rome. We didn’t really know each other that well, but we found ourselves spending those hours talking, sharing, and enjoying each other’s company as if we had been...

His hand on mine

His hand on mine

“It wasn’t easy to go to confession that day. I was twenty-two years old, and despite the fact that time has passed since then, I still remember it well. I was at the Shrine of Loreto. I was drawing near to this sacrament, prepared to receive a scolding and to be humiliated; I would never have thought that I could instead receive a precious gift. I felt alone, as if I had to appear before a judge. And yet, as soon as I knelt down, the friar who was waiting for me in the confessional, perhaps sensing my discomfort, placed his hand on mine and didn’t let go for the whole time of the confession. That gesture helped me to feel closeness and understanding, and it encouraged me to open up. I felt as if the sins I was confessing lost their power over my heart, and in...

Offertory: “You have changed my mourning into dancing”

Offertory: “You have changed my mourning into dancing”

A little more than two years ago, I was molded by a life-changing experience. “Brother pain” as St. Francis would say, came knocking at my door. I had recently undergone a routine surgery, that seemed to have gone well, but in reality my body was struggling to recover. During the post-surgery recovery, I received a rare email from a dear friend of mine from our college days. She shared with me about the very difficult time she was going through. Sarah had always been an example of solid faith and hope, and she is famous for her joy and sense of humor in every situation. Knowing this, I quickly understood the seriousness of her interior state when she wrote me and a few other friends asking us to pray for her. She shared how her faith risked crumbling in the midst...

Jesus’ Way

Jesus’ Way

I was eighteen when on a chilly December morning I entered a church in Rome before going to class. A Mass was going on in the church, but I wasn’t really paying attention, as I merely wanted to have a warm place where I could wait. After few minutes, a young woman in her late twenties sat right beside me and started to talk to me. I was struck by her beautiful and pure gaze right away, even if I was trying to figure out who she was and why she would want to talk to me like this. She explained that she was a consecrated woman in the brand new community of the Apostles of the Interior Life, and that her mission was to reach out to young people and talk with them about God. Although I wasn’t ready to start a spiritual friendship with her, I was struck by the fact...

Missing my flight: A story of Providence

Missing my flight: A story of Providence

It was a warm February morning and Sr. Kalin and I were at the Houston Airport on our way to New York for a conference I was speaking at. At our gate, we found some open seats near a man wearing a KU Jayhawk hat. Sr. Kalin was excited to see a fellow alum and began a conversation with him. We chatted with him until our flight began to board. We left him a brochure of our community and assured him of our prayers for him and his family. It was the beginning of an average day in the life of an Apostle of the Interior Life until the woman taking our boarding passes said, “This is not your flight.” “Excuse me?” I replied in dismay. I did not understand how this had happened, but sure enough we were at the wrong gate and our flight was currently boarding in another...

Do This in Memory of Me

Do This in Memory of Me

“Do this in memory of me.” These are the words Jesus spoke to His apostles during the Last Supper. In the hours following these words, human history changed. That night, when His friends left Him, when one betrayed Him, another denied Him, on that night Jesus accomplished His greatest, most mysterious work: the Institution of the Eucharist. And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the...

The Logic of Paradox

The Logic of Paradox

“But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (Jn 16:7). Catholicism, what a paradox! The Bible is full of verses like: “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt 16:25). As Catholics we proclaim truths like: “O happy fault that won for us so great a Redeemer” (Exultet for the Easter Vigil). And we have experiences as though a blind man were teaching us how to see. Faith and reason, body and soul, Scripture and Tradition, grace and nature; these are all truths of our faith and all are paradoxes. As we begin this new cycle of meditations focusing on the important elements of the charism of the...