Our weekly Missionary Thoughts are meant to develop the kind of mindset that opens doors, starting with our own. We hope you go as deep as your thoughts will allow - and be surprised by what you find hidden in the silence. Such contemplation is the keystone of this ministry. Contemplative action comes after we ponder something so deeply that we can no longer sit still – we absolutely must chase after that truth we have found so that we can capture it and joyfully experience its realization.
Tears, then: embracing tears, for our bread.
We are lingering here because tears are of such great importance to our work. Missionaries of Saint Thorlak must be willing to feel our emotions to the fullest. Some of us already do. Perhaps others have adopted habits to suppress our emotions for one reason or another, or have gradually forgotten how to feel openly. Let us be very clear: We cannot welcome others with closed doors. Even a partially closed door gives hesitation to the souls around us. We must open our doors in every figurative sense: unlock them, unlatch them, and swing them open as wide as the jambs allow.
As we’ve mentioned before, this does not mean we reveal every hidden aspect of ourselves, and it does not mean we have no boundaries. It means that, for Missionary work, we open the doors to our humanity, through voluntary humility, whenever we seek someone’s friendship.
A good test of this openness is the degree to which we are willing to embrace tears – both our own, and those of others.
This week, we ask you to read over these points, and find the one that provokes the most thought. Maybe it confuses you, or irritates you, or maybe it makes sense with blazing clarity. Once you find it, really study it, and identify how and why it resonates with your desire to join hands with this Mission.
Again, these are thoughts for all Missionaries - those with autism, and those without. We conclude by inviting you to consider how tears open, or close, doors in your own relationships… or, how you would like them to.
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