When I became a parent, a mother, a deep compassion and fierce caring for another human being took hold of me in a way I had never experienced before. Parenthood, it seemed, had expanded my humanity.
It is perhaps because of this that an ache now rises in me as our nation continues to wrestle with the complexities of immigration.
Like many of you over the past months and weeks, I have been moved by the faces of thousands who risk the uncertainties of life here — and the uncertainties of the journey itself — to flee the certain violence, war and trauma they suffer at home. I have been moved, especially, by the faces of mothers and fathers anguished by separation from their children.
On this anniversary of our nation’s birth, I think on the dozens of IVC volunteers among us who work with refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants who arrive to our country much as our forebears did — vulnerable, afraid, yet pinning everything on the hope of a better life, especially for their children.
I am equally moved by the compassion of our volunteers, who give practical care and aid to the marginalized, honoring the dignity of each person. Just as importantly, they also help educate others about the issues around immigration by sharing the real life stories of the people they assist.
We do all this because we as a community rooted in Ignatian spirituality and we as a Church are called to be a healing presence in our world. As such, the U.S. bishops have united in their call for a more just, compassionate treatment of the people seeking asylum and refuge in our country. Our own Jesuit family has raised its voice in defense of the defenseless.
Even as the debates rage, we of the Corps go on following the Ignatian example of holy boldness in service to those in need, recognizing in their countenance the face of Christ Himself.
Prayers this 4th of July that God indeed shed His grace on our country.
Wishing you that very grace to light your lives and bless you.