By Jo Ann, CIM
I am a solo Companion in Mission geographically; but spiritually, I journey with wonderful community of fcJ Sisters and Companions. Therefore I never feel alone.
The journey of my commitment, and of the sisters and companions has gone through many changes since meeting the sisters in 2000. Keeping my faith and using the tools of Ignatian Spirituality, I hope to be able to serve whoever has need, and to be courageous and confident with Jesus always in my heart .
My spirit has been nourished, enriched and transformed because of the gift of companionship. I have met so many people whose faith and devotion are true examples to me, allowing me to put my worries and problems into perspective and try to see God in all things and people. I intend to make efforts to continue my companioning relationship.
I would like to share two reflections from Joyce Rupp and from John O’Donohue. During a recent retreat they reminded me of how I have felt at times along the way and how I may choose to respond in the future.
Old maps no longer work, by Joyce Rupp, OSM
I keep pulling it out –
the old map of my inner path
I squint closely at it,
trying to see some hidden road
that maybe I’ve missed,
but there’s nothing there now
except some well-traveled paths.
they have seen my footsteps often,
held my laughter, caught my tears.
I keep going over the old map
but now the roads lead nowhere,
a meaningless wilderness
where life is dull and futile.
“toss away the old map,” she says
“you must be kidding!” I reply.
she looks at me with Sarah eyes
and repeats “toss it away.
It’s of no use where you’re going.”
“I have to have a map!” I cry,
“even if it takes me nowhere.
I can’t be without direction,”
“but you are without direction,”
she says, “so why not let go, be free?”
so there I am – tossing away the old map,
sadly fearfully, putting it behind me.
“whatever will I do?” wails my security
“trust me” says my midlife soul.
no map, no specific directions,
no “this way ahead” or “take a left”.
how will l know where to go?
how will I find my way? no map!
but then my midlife soul whispers
“there was a time before maps
when pilgrims travelled by the stars.”
It is time for the pilgrim in me
to travel in the dark,
to learn to read the stars
that shine in my soul.
I will walk deeper
into the dark of my night.
I will wait for the stars.
trust their guidance.
and let their light be enough for me.