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Showing posts from May, 2013

Meet Tom

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3:30 A.M. - my alarm goes off; time to serve breakfast to hundreds of homeless people.
Nope, not happening,I think to myself as I immediately turn it off and go back to bed.
But as soon as I close my eyes, I think of Tom*.
I met Tom yesterday, when I was working in the shelter around lunchtime. Part of my job was to monitor the homeless people during their smoke break, making sure nothing too sketchy was going on outside. Amidst stares from strangers and side glances galore, there I was, standing awkwardly in a corner by myself, in charge of observing a lot of adults who probably wanted nothing to do with me.
That was until one of those side glances transformed into a slight smile. "So you're working here for the summer?" Tom asked. My face lit up instantly. "Yeah, I'm doing an eight-week service program through my school. I get class credit for it, and I heard from past students that it's a great experience." Tom and I talked throughout the entirety of t…

A Summer of Service at Hesed House

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"Welcome aboard. Family." She spoke in incomplete sentences, throwing phrases out there left and right, but the words she spoke made my heart come alive - "Welcome. Here is home. This is home. We are family. Family, home, here. All family." There were just what I needed to hear. There I was, standing in the doorway of my new home for the next eight weeks with my new roommate Emily, listening to the words of our brand new next door neighbor, on the one hand excited for the journey of these next two months, on the other hand nervous, uneasy, and uncertain as to what lies ahead.

For the next eight weeks, I will be living at a place called Hesed House in Aurora, Illinois, about an hour and a half outside of downtown Chicago. Hesed House is divided into two parts: a homeless shelter and a Transitional Living Center (TLC). My roommate and I (both rising sophomores at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN) will be living in the TLC, but serving in all different p…

Special; Beautiful; Blemished

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It's an odd thing, growing up.
One minute you're wrapped in your mother's arms, talking and sharing stories about life and love.
The next minute you're soaring miles and miles above those arms and everything you've ever known.
On a plane, above the clouds, away from home.
Before you know it, your surroundings are new, your people are new, your own self is new.
But in a way the "new" is good.
It's better, almost.
And somehow you emerge stronger, taller, wiser than before.
And the ones at home greet you with a, "My my look at you now!" or a "I always knew you had it in you!"

And for the very first time in your sweet short life you're able to look in that mirror, with that smile, and that face, and that body, and think to yourself, "They're right. I am something special."
So you live and you learn and you grow and you know - know with every fiber of your being - that your fibers and your being are filled with meaning

The Only Thing that Matters

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Our main goal as Christians is not to make other people Christians.

Our goal is to love the world well. And if we just so happen to inspire others to become Christians in the process, that's great, but that's not the main goal.

When I first started diving into my faith, I thought that the best way to live a Christian lifestyle was to gain knowledge and share knowledge. Gain knowledge by learning the teachings of the Church, memorizing Bible verses, etc., and share knowledge by making sure the people in my life at least had a desire to learn those things as well.

Needless to say, I was mistaken. Through the process of meeting amazing Christians and non-Christians alike, I have realized overtime that the best way to live a Christian lifestyle is to gain love and share love. It is not about how much you know; it's about how much you love.

In the apostle Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians in the New Testament, he writes to the Christians of Thessalonica (modern day T…