Each month members of the Dubuque Area Vocation Association (DAVA) will address an aspect of vocation discernment.
By Sr. Lynn Mousel, CHM
“Blessed, broken, given” is this year’s theme for articles written by members of the Dubuque Area Vocation Association.
In his homilies, Pope Francis has said, “Jesus was broken; he is broken for us. And he asks us to give ourselves, to break ourselves, as it were, for others.” He has referred to the story of the loaves and fishes in the Gospels, noting that we are to imitate the disciples who took the bread from Jesus and shared it with others.
This is our call through baptism. Whether we are married, single, a religious or priest, we have fullness of life when we share this fullness with others.
These days, the word broken brings to mind our migrant brothers and sisters, especially at the U.S.-Mexico border. Their lives have been broken by the violence and oppression they are fleeing and further broken by the unjust U.S. immigration policies and inhumane treatment at the border.
Our Catholic social teaching tells us that we are called to speak out for those treated unjustly and to do what we can to help.
We can give thanks for all who are able to go to the border and help directly. There are many Catholic organizations providing food, shelter and other assistance to migrants. Just a few of them are the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Arizona; Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas; and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville, Texas.
But again, we are all called to do something, no matter who or where we are. There is much we can do, even if we are not working at the border.
We can call or write our elected officials to speak out against unjust immigration policies. Much is changing from day to day, and so it takes some effort to keep informed. There are many places to search for information. If you go to http://www.usccb.org/about/migration-and-refugee-services/, you will find out about action taken by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Prayer, of course, is not to be underestimated. Migrants are in a dire situation that can often seem overwhelming. Helping to organize prayers for immigrants for my religious congregation has given me a sense of comfort. It is powerful when we come together to pray.
Finally, we are called to be welcoming to those who are right in our midst, especially those on the margins. Most of our communities have immigrants and refugees, and it is important to be welcoming to them. Whenever we take the time to welcome and listen to another different from us, we are giving of ourselves and are surely blessed in return.
Sister Lynn is the coordinator of membership development of the Congregation of Humility of Mary. She enjoys sharing the spirit and mission of her community, whether it is with those discerning a vocation to religious life, lay associates or staff. She is a member of the Dubuque Area Vocation Association, which is online at http://discernyourvocation.org/.