Skaftafell Ice Cave - Iceland
We are almost done picking apart our Mission Statement and are about to move on to the Objectives, where the action is. Contemplation always sets the stage for all we do, and our readers have done a great job slowly mulling over the defining elements of our apostolate. That last piece, though, needs a glance, maybe even a fresh treatment before we roll up our sleeves.
“Letting people with autism lead us on our way” is what differentiates our approach from other (equally valid) forms of mission work, devotional activity and disability support. In fact, it strives to blend these elements seamlessly to form an entirely unique resource to address and prevent spiritual disconnection.
How is it, specifically, that we look to people with autism to lead us in our efforts?
We invite you to revisit this thought from June, 2017 if you would like to continue considering autism’s contribution to our Mission in more depth.
Autism is one of the hundreds of thousands of ways that the human condition is reflected throughout the world we live in. The tally of people affected by this condition is constantly growing. We dare say: so are the numbers of people who, for one reason or another, are disconnected from their Source, and disconnected from their purpose. We don’t have numbers yet to back up our claims, but if our instincts are correct, we’re going to need a huge number of people who can understand and recognize disconnection so that it can be adequately addressed and prevented. We’re going to need people who can expand our capacities for patience, understanding, empathy, gentleness and sincerity… to help make this a more human world once again. We’re going to need people familiar with needing help, who are not afraid to be humble. We’re going to need people well-trained in the “what and how” of human to human connection… who can show us best practices for getting the message out.
People with autism: Lead us on our way.
Pray: Father in Heaven, as we enter this season of Advent, help those of us beginning this Missionary journey in darkness to trust that light awaits us.
Contemplate: In philosophy, a “problem” is more like a puzzle or an inquiry than cause for alarm. How is autism a “problem,” philosophically speaking, in your own circumstances?
Relate: Who do you know that is affected by autism? How has connecting with that person changed you? (If you cannot think of anyone… hold this thought until the day you do. It will probably come soon.)
May the power of Divine Love shine in and through my weakness, so that He might be glorified in and through me, and that in my weakness, His power may reach perfection. Through Christ Our Lord, AMEN.
Fr. Mark P. Nolette - Spiritual Director for the Mission of Saint Thorlak