Monday, May 5, 2014

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Happy Mercy Monday!!! Since God's mercy is such a tremendous blessing, and a cause for joy, that's what I'm focusing on.

Last week, as I was writing a paper for my American Lit final, one of my favorite (well, they are all pretty much my "favorite"...) religious sisters here at FUS stopped by and started talking with me. Her name is Sr. Lucy, and she's a Sister of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George (how's that for a mouthful???)

Anyway, she was excitedly telling me about one of the Community's candidates, who lives in Africa. Before this woman joined the order, she had her own personal mission: Across a river nearby her home in Africa, there was a primitive tribe who had never been evangelized to. So, this young woman took it upon herself to row one hour across the river, in order to talk with them. It pretty much blew my mind to hear that! I think a lot of us Christians here in America don't really grasp the level of passionate evangelization that God is calling us to. We're squeamish if we walk up to a person on the sidewalk and talk to them about Jesus. Hello? This woman was rowing an hour each way, to get across a river and meet people and tell them about God's love for them. We can all be inspired by her example. I told Sr. Lucy how powerful that woman's example is, especially since a lot of us don't have that type of evangelization experience/struggle to go through every day.

“Yes,” she responded, “But we all have some kind of river we are rowing across in our evangelization. Even if it’s not physical, we have to struggle across a kind of river. And we have to remember to keep rowing.” 

I looked at her with an "you are way too profound/that is amazing/you are the coolest" kind of look, and as I continued to write my paper, Sr. Lucy's words were stuck in my head. And I resolved to blog about it when my life got less crazy :)

As Sister said, we all have various struggles when we evangelize. Sometimes, people aren't receptive. Other times, we are afraid for what will happen once we evangelize. But, like Sr. Lucy said, we all must keep rowing. If we don't, we'll be swept away by the currents of despair, and that's no good.

How do we persevere? We must hope and have joy in the Lord and His Sacrifice and Mercy!!! We don't even have to search for things to be joyful about when we're going through rough times; God loves us so much that He gift-wraps tons of blessings and sticks them all over our days for us to enjoy!

Yes, stuff like Finals (what a lot of us college kids are going through now), bittersweet farewells at the end of the school year, abortion, crime, etc. happening, it's easy to drop the oars, stop rowing, and get swept away by sadness.

But, we must remember what the St. John Paul the Great once said: 
“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and Alleluia is our song.”

We need to actively live out hope, and use that hope to row across the river! God throws motivational blessings all over the place, so just open your eyes! 

Here are some of the blessings God has stuck in my life the past couple of days...

We have had an abundance of gorgeous dandelions all over campus and in
front of our apartment!!!!!! So wonderful!!!

Jacob took me on a Taco Bell date, and I couldn't
resist playing with the sauce packets. Seriously,
I would love to see people to have a complete
conversation with these sometime!

Our neighbor, "Mama Bird." She lives on our front porch,
and Jacob and I really like her :) 

My prayer circle at the abortion clinic this weekend.
Bishop Monforton took this picture and immediately
put it on his twitter, then joined our prayer circle :)
I'll probably put up a fangirl post about Bishop Monforton soon,
since he's pretty much one of the coolest people ever!