James Martin, S.J tells a story about “meeting God” in an apartment in Stanford, Ct. while watching television at the end of a long day. His story is a witty reminder that God finds us where we are.
In the past few months, I’ve been privileged to help facilitate and participate in sessions with colleagues – some known to me, many others new acquaintances – to discern the attributes and articulation of our mission and vision statements and most recently, our strategic plan. In the moments the conversations emanate through the room, I sense people’s passion, love and concern for our students, our university and the journey we are taking together to form a more collaborative, focused campus community. Here, I feel God’s presence and see the beauty in diverse points of view expressed from the hearts of people who care deeply about our shared purpose.
On afternoons when I’m sitting at my computer at the workday’s end, the sun blazes through my window in Quinn Hall and floods my office in a sepia glow. All I need to do is glance over my left shoulder to witness the chameleon sunset over Smithson Field. And now, the distinctive ‘plunk’ of a metal bat whacking a baseball punctuates every few moments, reminding me that there are students nearby enjoying the gifts that the James J. Maguire ’58 Campus have given our community. There have been more than a few occasions when a hawk has swooped by my window in a flash, which gives me both a thrill and a sense of comfort.
These moments – and many others I recall – remind me of a beautiful quote by Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J. (1675-1751):
“The present moment holds infinite riches beyond your wildest dreams but you will only enjoy them to the extent of your faith and love. The more a soul loves, the more it longs, the more it hopes, the more it finds.”
In these scenarios – although there are many more – I feel the light and love of God’s presence and the guidance of His hand throughout my day. I’m filled with gratitude because God found me…here at Saint Joseph’s.
Carolyn Vivaldi, M.S.
Assistant Vice President
Communications and Donor Relations