An Ordinary Hello – May 20

Hands encircled in prayer around a statue of Mary, mother of God, wrapped in light
Hands encircled in prayer around a statue of Mary, mother of God, wrapped in light

As I was enjoying the sweet sounds of Kacey Musgraves’ voice watching her play live acoustic from home, I realized how much I love this moment, and so I thought I would share it with you.

I am currently sitting in the Casa Vides office, named after Adolfo Perez Esquivel, an Argentine activist who opposed their last civil-military dictatorship and won a Nobel Peace Prize. I am wearing knee length jean shorts, a coral striped short-sleeve, and my (smelly) chacos, with a black and white and red face mask tied around my neck. It is hot and I am sweating, but a black clip-on fan spins above me into my face and dries my eyes in this windowless closet. 

I came in here to write a scripture reflection for my former university’s campus ministry page, and have just finished my rough draft reflecting on the readings for May 28th. I am amazed by Paul in Acts 22 when he is visited by Jesus in a bright light and immediately abandons his career as a bounty hunter of Christians to preach the truth of the Resurrection. It’s portrayed as a one day ordeal and boom he has a new life and does not look back. 

So here on the desk I’ve got the readings, my *Catholic Youth* Bible, my water bottle, empty coffee cup, and an empty glass that once held airborne. Then behind me, sticking out of the printer, is a “Timeline of CIA Atrocities” that I want to study, and to the right of the printer there are two books I have read/am reading, “Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz and “The Blindfold’s Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth” by Sr. Dianna Ortiz, and finally a coloring book by artists against deportation that I just printed off that a former classmate posted on Facebook, called “#FREE THEM ALL.” (download and donate here!)

I am listening to Kacey Musgraves because her voice is very buttery and is cheering me up in these difficult days. Now it has turned to her Christmas songs, which are oddly comforting (sometimes I dabble in Holiday music in the early summer ^.^).

I know that people are feeling restless, confused, in despair. Without a clear way forward, we are all trying to do what we think is best, which may not be even what is good, but I am not one to claim I know all the answers so I try, in moments of reflection, to release my judgement. 

The invitation continues to present itself to all of us people of faith and good will to listen to the Spirit who may be calling us into a deeper relationship with ourselves, with one another, and with the Earth. I personally have been trying to think about how I can center love in all that I do. In the way I speak to others and handle conflict, in the way I speak to myself in the quiet moments, and in the way I proceed with my job search, always looking for the light of Christ to lead me. 

For those that know me, I can be cynical and tragedy focused and sarcastic and dry. I always know there is a time and a place to speak to power, to raise awareness, to call out sin as it manifests so prominently in today’s society – greed, exploitation, indifference to suffering. But I also know there is a time and a place to hold oneself in prayer, to laugh uncontrollably while doing the dishes, and to put on some feel-good music and say “I am glad to be alive” because even though I am sweating and the children are blowing a loud whistle and spreading their toys across the floor, and even though there is deep suffering and injustice all around us, I know at least that God is very alive and working miracles in every moment and the sun will set tonight and grace these big Texas skies with a painting that will take my breath away. 

A recent sunset bursting with the fire of the Holy Spirit!
A recent sunset that was mesmerizing!

Sending love, peace, and health from West Texas to you all!