La certeza de Dios

Twenty years ago I'd just returned home to London after five months in Mexico, mostly spent in a shanty town on the edge of Xalapa, Veracruz. I was there for my 'international experience', a significant time in the life of many RSCJ, usually happening after several years in the Society, and just before we begin our final preparation for our perpetual vows. This international experience can be a time filled with growth and insight and learning, and heart- and mind-opening experiences; simultaneously, it can also be a time of dislocation and struggle, whether with language, culture, extremes of climate, or one's own limitations. But it is precisely in this struggle that we can learn to lean, in a new and deeper way, on the enduring fidelity and permanence of God. And this is a gift and a grace we can carry with us long into the future.

Five months ago I wrote about one of Mexico's gifts to me: a linguistic quirk which led me to the profound conviction that in the Society, in this vocation, in God and the Heart of Jesus, I was - still am! - in my deepest, truest home. And alongside this there was another gift... La certeza de Dios, was how I described it to the RSCJ accompanying me - the certainty of God. There were no 'moments', or visitations, or symbolic rainbows or sunbursts; simply a growing, deepening conviction and assurance. Fidelity and permanence and steadfastness... and more: when all else falls and fails and changes, the certainty of God endures, quietly permeating life.

And now I stand on the cusp of 2023, looking back on a year filled with seismic change, in which so many of our certainties have smashed and crashed, and ahead to a year in which so much is still uncertain. And somehow I can look ahead with hope, as I remind myself of la certeza de Dios. When all else falls and fails and changes, and seems likely to continue doing so, I know that the certainty of God will endure, forever. 

And in there, surely, is my - our - hope for the future...


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