Taking Up the Mirror; Changing the Reflection
“Let us wake up then, open our eyes in apostolic charity, and if we are called, set out for any place where the work is great and difficult.”
That statement by our founder, Samuel Mazzuchelli, has challenged me lately.
Ministry with victims of domestic violence has been both life giving and energy sapping. At times, I feel like Alice – not of Wonderland but of the Looking Glass. Every day I am impelled to look into a mirror and claim what I see; to acknowledge some of my internal reactions to people I’ve met, situations I’ve encountered, and to the culture in which I find myself - a culture so different from my own experience and one that is negatively impacted by the effects of racism, poverty and white privilege – including my own. This work, while so necessary, is painful for me. Honestly, sometimes, it just seems too great and too difficult.
A friend recently suggested that perhaps the great and difficult work I am being called to is an interior journey, an ongoing one of self-examination and deeper self-awareness. I think she’s right. Along the way, I’m sure to find beautiful stones that I’ll slip into my pocket as treasure. Others will be jagged and cold; I’ll be tempted to throw those back. Yet, they are precisely the stones I need to turn over in my hand, to carefully examine, to try to understand. They are the reason for this journey and the cause of ongoing transformation into the person God is calling me to be.
We are all called to make this journey, to take up this task, as great and as difficult as it might be. Can we make it together? Can we make it with gratitude for the chance to change what we see?
Kathy Flynn, OP
Whitefish Bay, WI