As Team 8’s mission year comes to the close the retreats are few are far between, the weather is warming up and the SPIRITUS day becomes more open ended. With this less strenuous schedule a perfect opportunity presents itself to reflect on this year of service, to search for more “nuggets” that the Lord might want to give. There are many aspects to SPIRITUS: community living, formation, retreat and youth ministry, benefactor meet and greets, recruitment trips etc. I would like to share with you all just one “nugget” from this year in two of these aspects.
I will start this review off with community life. Those who know me would all agree that my calling in life will not be in a large community setting and some might say that a community of 15 is not large but let’s just say that to some that is more than enough. With all this in mind I would say that this year's community helped me to grow in ways I did not expect to grow in. We had good times and we had some rough patches, but within both those times were graces. One of those graces was that I learned what it means to give love freely in those moments that are hard to love the person in front of you. Often times loving freely means forgiving those who have harmed you or simply doing the dishes for your teammates when we are running around trying to prepare for our various ministries. Ultimately in our lives as disciples we are called to love those in front of you and let me tell you community life is a great time to practice loving.
The second grace I would like to share with you is from the ministry dimension. The thing that stuck out to me most when thinking about ministry this year was the relationships I made in my youth ministry internship and how evangelization is really about making and fostering relationships with those we meet whether on retreat or in the parish setting. Our proclamation of the Gospel is far less effective if we do not have a relationship with those we are ministering to. The youth of the Catholic Church are in dire need of good relationships with Catholics who are striving for virtue and holiness, in SPIRITUS this has provided an awesome opportunity to give that to the youth in Wisconsin, and from there we have been able to see the fruit of the same youth coming into deeper relationship with our Lord which is of course the best of all relationships in their lives.
This year has provided me a lot of growth humanly, spiritually and relationally. I will always be grateful for these two years of service with SPIRITUS. May God bless you.