These last couple of weeks I have been thinking about our mission and asking myself what makes someone a missionary? What are we doing as missionaries in the suburbs of Phoenix? These are a bunch of good questions.
Since Mexico I have felt that there has been a change in my heart. I have been wanting to take our mission to the streets of downtown Phoenix to be with and minister to the poor and desolate. I felt that that it was hard to be missionary working in the National Life Teen office working on the web site. It is hard for me to see fruits from that. I was feeling complacent with our Life Teen ministries; I wanted to hit the streets! I came up with a ministry called PB&J Ministries where we would go to those who didn’t know His word and are hungry for food. I made 40 PB&J sandwiches and was ready to get rejected or loved by someone. I was stopped by people who care very much about me. The didn’t want me to go by myself or to a bad part of town without a controlled environment. I said to myself that day, “Christianity isn’t safe; martyrs died for their faith! I was confused about the situation. God put this desire in my heart, but I couldn’t go. Ahh!
I discovered later that our formation year isn’t about “doing” but “being.” After reading Story of a Soul, I couldn’t believe that St. Therese was the patron saint of missions but she never left the convent. I learned through her little way of loving that it was by her “being” that she was being missionary. She believed that we must be formed first in our hearts to love in little ways with big sacrifices. She took every opportunity to love in a small way as a missionary. I honestly love how she says that her vocation is to love. I feel that we as Catholics spend so much time discerning our vocations we don’t realize that here and now our vocation is to love. What makes someone a missionary is how they love and how they respond to Gods love for them.
“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners,To announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God, to comfort all who mourn;To place on those who mourn in Zion a diadem instead of ashes, To give them oil of gladness in place of mourning, a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit. They will be called oaks of justice, planted by the LORD to show his glory.They shall rebuild the ancient ruins, the former wastes they shall raise up And restore the ruined cities, desolate now for generations.Strangers shall stand ready to pasture your flocks, foreigners shall be your farmers and vinedressers.You yourselves shall be named priests of the LORD, ministers of our God you shall be called. You shall eat the wealth of the nations and boast of riches from them.Since their shame was double and disgrace and spittle were their portion, They shall have a double inheritance in their land, everlasting joy shall be theirs.For I, the LORD, love what is right, I hate robbery and injustice; I will give them their recompense faithfully, a lasting covenant I will make with them.Their descendants shall be renowned among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; All who see them shall acknowledge them as a race the LORD has blessed.I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul; For he has clothed me with a robe of salvation, and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, Like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels.As the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring up, So will the Lord GOD make justice and praise spring up before all the nations. Isaiah 61
St. Therese said she wanted to die of love. I think that’s a pretty good sign of Sainthood. God has been forming my heart this year and calling me for something. I just don’t know what yet. Please pray for me and my discernment.