I recently went on a mid-year Jesuit Volunteer community retreat that was guided by we volunteers of the Belize City and Punta Gorda JV communities. Rooted in the theme of self-care, this retreat felt particularly timely as I was preparing for Lent this year, a season that not only emboldens greater consistency in my personal and communal spiritual lives, but also a deeper look at how intentionality throughout my day gives care to my relationship with God.
A community mate of mine made the commitment to explore new prayer practices that empower her as a female within the Catholic Church. In response to her Lenten commitment, I began to reflect upon my own past prayer practices that have been particularly nourishing. Year after year I find myself reinventing my personal prayer wheel at the beginning of the Lenten Season. Instead, I chose to focus on the platforms of encountering God that I have utilized in the past and from which, perhaps, I had ‘moved on’ from throughout different periods of transition in my life. I gave myself time to recognize the spiritual needs that have remained constant not only in transition, but also in the day to day experiences as a Jesuit Volunteer, in communities new and old, and in the ways I experience or encounter joy, challenge, and grief in my communities both here in Belize and in the States.
What has consistently brought about my closeness with God?
What has given me access to experience God most authentically, given God direct access to me?
Author: Hannah Coley (Belize, 2016-18)
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