An Ode to FrancisCorps

Miriam in front of the Basilica of St. Peter in Vatican City

I honestly feel like a different person than I was 10 months ago. I have been changed by the people I serve, by my coworkers, by my community; I have been changed by God made present today. There are so many gifts that have flowed from this experience, too many to drop in this reflection, but I will offer 3 insights that God has really emphasized to me.

First, I have lived the truth that suffering and joy can indeed share the same space. I think the community would agree that there has been a lot of suffering this year, both from our service and from our personal lives. But through it all, our community has not let it steal our joy. I think this must be what it means to live the resurrection; there is always hope because all darkness and all suffering has been overcome. There is nothing that can separate me from God, he already tore that veil, and even when it hurts, even when it hurts over and over again, I can turn to the face of Jesus, especially in my community, and be comforted by His light.

This leads me to my spiritual insight. The major theme is surrender to The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. No matter how much I try to take control, to ignore or distract from what I’m going through, to strive instead of abide, God is the only one who can console. God is the only one who can heal. And my God is a God who waits. He waits in the Eucharist and in the depths of my heart for me to stop fighting, to say yes to Him, and to let Him accompany me through the desert. He waits for my surrender. I don’t always want to, and Jesus definitely knows this, but I’ll say yes over and over and get as close to his heart as I possibly can.

Now for my professional insight: my heart really thirsts with Jesus’ heart for His people. Like, wow. I have found great affirmation in my desire to work with immigrants long term. I think this work is so special, and Northside CYO will always hold a special place in my heart. There is something about connecting heart to heart with my clients, sometimes literally because of the language barrier. There is so much to be learned by the perseverance, gratitude, and the joy of this population. When you are forced to start over, forced to let go, everything is a gift. Is this not how I should live every day? Everything is a gift because everything is passing. They are an example to me of living with eyes turned toward heaven. 

This fall I will be attending law school at The University of Texas at Austin pursuing immigration law. I am happy and sad at the same time. Thinking about law school and actually practicing immigration law makes my heart leap with excitement. I’ve dreamt of this for so long. But, starting that chapter means bringing this one to a close. Oh, what a gift this chapter has been. Oh, what a blessing to have something so good that it hurts deep to move on. I thank God every day for this program, for our beloved staff, for CYO, and especially for my FC23 community. I will leave Syracuse but I will never leave this family, and I will go forever changed.

Categories: General

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