by Charlie Cavanaugh.
"The disciples of Jesus are those who seek God’s face." I have only recently been re-assigned to this house, and these words of our previous Pope, Benedict XVI, describe very well what I see here.
This is primarily a house of friendship where what Catherine Doherty called "the chit-chat apostolate" goes on every time one of our blue doors opens. As is true in all of our houses, the work of Marian Centre is people.
At the back door, which we open for incoming donations, there is a sign made by one of our friends: "Christ is at the door." I am often grateful for this reminder when I go rushing to answer the door bell. It reminds me to pause for just a moment to think about whom, in fact, I will be greeting in just one moment.
There are many ways in which we honor the face of Christ in our brothers and sisters. This past week, we invited two of our brothers, who have been coming to our soup kitchen for many, many years, and whose birthday it was, to join us for afternoon tea.
Both are alcoholics who have achieved sobriety, for which they are very grateful. After blowing out the candles on their birthday pies (yes, one was a Saskatoon berry pie!), each one spoke about his gratitude to God.
A new life has finally begun for them and is bringing them joy even as they continue to carry the wounds of their addiction in their bodies and memories. It was easy to see the face of Christ in these men.
Yesterday, as I sat in the dining room with a longtime friend and patron of this house, we both remarked on how much noise there was. We could barely hear each other even though we sat shoulder to shoulder.
A lot of that noise was the chit-chat of the many simultaneous conversations of our volunteers—friends meeting friends or making them. In quieter moments, these same volunteers invite us to take to our hearts and prayers the special intentions and burdens they carry.
Last week, we carried in our hearts in a special way the grief of a former working guest of MH Combermere who lives in Saskatchewan, a young man whose parents were both killed in a tragic car accident.
I had the privilege of being present at the funeral which took place in their home parish about three hours north of Regina. The outpouring of love by their extended family and the radiance of the faith of their home parish was a great consolation—not only to them, but to all of us who attended.
Every day, we encounter the Lord. We receive him in the sacraments, and we see his face in the faces of those men and women whom we meet and who enter our lives.
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