My Part in the Community

TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

The other day at noon prayer, one of the sisters at Our Lady of Grace said to me, with a wink, “You’ve fallen into our routine so well, you should just join us!”

While many of the sisters know that I do not feel called to religious life in this sense, they always encourage me in my faith and let me know how nice it is that I like to join them for offices. In fact, I was just given my own cubby shelf to keep my copy of the prayer book and music. This was such a gracious gesture by one of the sisters, and it really touched me.

I delight in the relationship that I have developed with the community at Our Lady of Grace. A while back, my dad said something wise to me in an email: “You can’t truly do the work of the community unless you’re a part of it,” he wrote. After working at Benedict Inn for the past several months, I see how this is true. The Inn is one of the corporate ministries of the monastery, meaning that more than just the sisters physically present have an investment. The investment is emotional and spiritual, and oftentimes we ask for blessings on this ministry at morning prayer. By serving at Benedict Inn, I have become invested in the ministry. However, I am also invested in Our Lady of Grace as a whole, not just through my internship, but through my participation in prayer and Mass, by sharing meals at the monastery, by being invited to the Easter Vigil celebration, and by having conversations with many of the sisters. Even sharing a “good morning” and a smile with whichever sister greets me at the door in the morning is a small act that actually means much to me.

I am blessed with my internship. Perhaps not every intern feels as welcome or appreciated as I do, or receives such kindness and encouragement; perhaps the relationship between “bosses” and “interns” are more impersonal and rigid for others. Sharing a common faith and common values certainly established a mutual understanding from the very beginning. In an environment that specializes in caring for others, I have developed connections that go beyond professional life. I learn so much, not just about business or non-profit work, but about life from the women I am with at OLG. I care about those that have come into my life, and hope that this makes me a better intern. I desire for these relationships to deepen throughout the remainder of my internship, and afterward as well.

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