How I encounter God through the Xaverian Missionaries
Posted On February 11, 2022
The Xaverian community has blessed my life for almost 35 years. Fr. Alex has asked me to share how I have encountered God through my encounters with them. The ways are endless, but I have grouped my reflections in 4 blessings. I will not single out any particular member or community (Milwaukee, Chicago, or several in Italy). I invite you to reflect on this question in relation to your life. Welcoming as Family. Hospitality is key for Xaverians. No one is excluded – all cultures, creeds, races, political perspectives, lifestyles, incomes, ages, genders, and backgrounds.
This inclusive attitude promotes dialogue which is essential to Christ’s mission. They try to build bridges and break down divisions. Their faith is family-based since we are all beloved of God. It is easy to feel at home in one of their houses since food, beverage, laughter, and song are shared. They are not stingy with their gifts and encourage others to share gifts as well. Cooperation and collaboration are nurtured on their “holy ground.”
Humble and Honest. Their mission field is all of humanity, especially those who do not know the love of God. They are in touch with their own humanity. They accept their own weaknesses and recognize their faults and limitations. Joy characterizes their gatherings, whether meetings, festivities, ordinary encounters or religious ceremonies. Simplicity marks their dwellings, their possessions and their message. They are open to new ways of thinking and acting, as long as they are based on respect for people and the earth.
Kind and Compassionate. Conversations and actions are considerate. I have felt affirmed and not judged. Their common gentleness sets a tone for work, prayer or play. The added dimension in this point is their passion for justice, especially for the poor, marginalized, rejected or mistreated.
Loving. As their motto says, “The love of Christ impels us.” Their contemplative prayer and action is Spirited and enthusiastic. It invites and sometimes challenges us to follow their example.
I thank God for the gift of the Xaverian community. My hope is that men AND women in the United States of America may join their mission. My dream is that the laity (“common people”) may catch their fire.