The first year (2009) I did week of guided prayer I really didn’t understand why everyone found it such an amazing experience, I found it incredibly tough and at the end of the week felt like I didn’t fit in and hadn’t done the experience ‘right’.
A personal reflection from a JRS volunteer, Sr Juliana, who offers her thoughts after being with JRS for a couple of months...
JRS as an international catholic non-governmental organisation with a mission to accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people; is very much in line with our Charism of Peace through Justice.
God writes straight with crooked lines, it is said. But can good really come out of evil? Do love, truth, and justice ever work out through hatred, lies, and injustice? Do crooked lines really straighten?
We don’t seem to speak much about love any more. Although we retain a mystical belief in it we prefer not to speak about it. We would rather speak about relationships and sex. We can get relationship and sex therapy on the NHS, but anyone asking for love therapy free at the point of delivery might be looked at askance. Surely this way of speaking is both more realistic and more scientific. Love is an ideal, like an elusive perfume, but relationships are the nitty-gritty, the crucible where all our “issues” are played out.
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you......” Rudyard Kipling's famous poem provides a key to understanding the story of Noah and the Ark as much as any scriptural commentary.
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Taken out of context, that might sound cold and impersonal. But Jesus gave this prayer as an example to his disciples who had asked how they could pray like Our Lord. They had found something attractive in him, in his way of life, and wanted to live like him.
Working at the JRS has helped me to see in the vulnerable stranger a mirror of myself, and a reflection of Christ that points towards an invitation to human solidarity. Mike Guilfoyle, talks about his experience as a JRS volunteer...