“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.” -St. Therese Lisieux
In my former life, I was a high school Spanish teacher. Before spending thirty three years in the public school system, I taught for five years at Little Flower High School on the south side of Chicago. St. Therese has been following me for the majority of my life. She is on the right side of the altar of the church I attend, St. Francis Xavier in La Grange, and I usually sit under her watchful gaze as I attend Mass. I was given a copy of the above prayer before participating in a parish service day. I find it hauntingly beautiful and so positive.
This summer at Taller I have walked with several of my clients as they struggle through health issues. One of them was diagnosed with cancer, one had thyroid surgery, one suffers from ongoing depression and another has a young child with disabilities for whom she is seeking services. There have been numerous visits to doctors for each of these individuals and one long accompaniment for testing and analysis of the young boy. Over time, I have grown to love these clients more for their courage, their tenacity and their faith. They have been so open and trusting with me. They have gifted me with hope and a sense of purpose.
I have grown tremendously in my respect for medical personnel and educators who devote their lives to helping people regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds. Not for a moment do they hesitate to be of service to all. There truly is so much good in the world.
The cancer patient has had a procedure which seems to be shrinking the tumor, the thyroid surgery was successful, the client with depression is improving and the young boy has been enrolled in school and is participating in an early intervention program.
There will be other accompaniments with them as the year progresses. I look forward to seeing them and continuing to be part of their lives. May we all continue to find contentment in knowing that we are children of God.