By Sister Agnesine Seluzicki, MHSH
As I reflect on my journey of faith, a tune from my youth pops into my head: “Everything is beautiful, in its own way….” And I muse, “Yes, everything, even those twisted, thorny times when life seemed a blur.”
This gives me pause because I see at those very times the “divine spark” that exists in each of us provided the energy and focus that ultimately brought renewed vision.
I grew up in a culture where the neighborhood, the church and ethnic roots provided communal solidarity and gave a sense of direction. As a child of six or seven, I recall being lively, carefree and somewhat undisciplined. By the time I was Confirmed, I was making a more conscious effort to pray and to overcome faults. It was also a time that sparked a desire to learn and to excel. But it was also a time when I had grown very, very shy. It was a shyness that continued into my adult life.
In high school, I wanted to choose a college preparatory program, but my counselor said that my immigrant parents would hardly be able to provide a college education. This was a real blow to me and left me with feelings of inadequacy and poor self-image.
But in my teens, I met a seminarian who saw some sort of giftedness in me. He thought that I might have the qualities needed to bring peace, joy and growth in people. He encouraged me to investigate a group of Sisters whom he described as dedicated and exuding warmth and joy.
“Yes, I Can…”
This began a new phase in my life. After meeting the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, I knew that life for me could never be the same. I wanted to be a part of whatever it was that inspired this group of women to give themselves so totally to God.
With them, I found people who believed in me. I recall how shocked I was when I was assigned to work toward a college degree. I was frightened and didn’t think I could do it, but the love and support of the Mission Helpers seemed to crack the wall that had been constructed around me and caused it to crumple. With their help, I made it and I made it with A’s and could say, “Yes! I can do it!”
My superiors also assigned me to tasks for which I considered myself unqualified. But, once again, their confidence in me gave me the courage to go forth. Somehow in my own growth, I had reached a point where Jesus was now at the center of my being, someone with whom and through whom I derived meaning. I discovered the truth of, “in him I can do all things.”
The divine spark remains eternally within us. All it needs is an awakening. And then, what marvels it can do!
Reflection: Who or what awakens the divine spark in you?