Saturday, February 14, 2009

Smile. Jesus is at the door.

The reading for daily mass today was the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Fr. Pat's homily talked about grace, about God's presence in our lives. He talked about how while Jesus looked to perform tangible miracles, feeding the thousands, healing the sick and suffering, he also sought to perform spiritual and faith miracles, about transforming the spirit within someone. When we are able to walk, when we are able to eat, we are better able to be in communion with others.
He then went on to talk about seeing God in the big miracles but also in the spirit and sanctity of our daily meals and our daily activities. This is something that I've learned since I've been here in Philadelphia. It's easy to see God in the big miracles but it's increasingly difficult to see Him in the miracle of a donation or in getting to work on time despite the traffic. We get so confounded with our daily routine that we forget to find God. It's a challenge to see God in the face of someone who is confronting you. It's especially hard to see God when your day isn't quite living up to your expectations. But that's where grace and faith come in. That's when God works best in us.
Enough with the preaching. January and February have been pretty much a whirlwind! Between recovering from the holidays to speaking at schools to a trip home and submitting graduate school applications, I am grateful that breathing is an automatic reflex otherwise I'm not entirely sure I'd remember to do it! As I sit in the exact middle of the month of February (yes it's Valentine's Day and yes I am sitting at my computer), I am hopeful and excited for what the next couple of months bring.
I recently found out that I was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice for a Masters of Social Work. I am still waiting to hear from Temple University and the University of New Hampshire. Although UPenn is not my first choice, I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited and impressed with my own humble ability to be accepted to an ivy league school. In that, however, making plans for the coming year have become increasingly difficult. Deciding what is best for me six months from now seems to be a challenge that proves more daunting that I would have hoped. But there's no use complaining and I should be counting myself blessed and should be grateful for the amazing opportunities that lay before me.
I have begun work at the Saint Francis Urban Center, a social service agency run/funded by the Inn under the direction of Brother John, a friar here in Kensington. His ministry is not limited to the guests of the Inn but also manages to assist many people in navigating and maneuvering the housing market. My role there is not yet defined but hopefully as the next month or so unfolds, will be more concrete. As of now, I am looking to develop a resource database of agencies in Philadelphia as well as to manage my own small caseload with the goal to get some practice and to help John out a bit. This is an incredible opportunity to gain experience in a field that isn't so far in the future!
March proves to be a busy month yet again. Saint Anselm College will be coming down for the week, then comes a visit from a former FVM and his wife, then a Ball (like Cinderella), then retreat, then a visit from some friends from home, and a new friend from Florida, then probably a trip home! So don't be surprised if I don't write for awhile (I know, it seems shocking). Again, thank you for your support and prayers! They sustain me in ways that both you and I will never know!