Maban, 19 November 2015 – After having worked with the Jesuit Refugee Service for years in Liberia, Nogales (USA-México border), Kakuma (Kenya) and now Maban (South Sudan), I took sometime today to reflect on a beautiful prayer attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, the founder of JRS:
"Nothing is more practical than finding God,
than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything."
And it dawned on me:
Indeed, I have really found God in the forcibly displaced,
I am really in Love with JRS in a quite absolute and final way
in that it helps me to live out my vocation as a follower of Jesus, as a Jesuit.
My imagination is full of faces - both joyful and sad - of displaced people,
I get out of bed because of the displaced,
in the evenings I prepare things to serve them better the following day,
Over the weekends I celebrate mass with them,
I read about them, I know so many of them by their name,
It breaks my heart when I witness once more women and children having to run away from home,
I wonder in amazement at the joy and hope they share with me.
Yes, I think I am madly in love and I shall stay in love with God, a displaced God.
It has decided everything in my life.
Thank you JRS for making it possible.