For many years, I taught Mass Communications at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY. I loved being there and enjoyed the verve and enthusiasm of my students. I found myself thinking about how fortunate I was to have such a great job, but it seemed to me that I was missing something – I had little pastoral contact with the elderly. This reflection led me to volunteer at a local hospice.
At the hospice I cleaned the house and sometimes chatted with the residents or took care of their families. I quickly learned that I was getting far more than I was giving. The quiet and cheerful professionalism of the hospice staff, the dignity accorded to the dying residents and the care & compassion that was everywhere evident made a profound impression on me. I became more patient and much less judgmental as a result of my volunteer hours at the hospice and I found myself viewing the world around me in a whole new way.
When we allow ourselves to enter into Reflection that leads to Gratitude and thence to Service, we’re opening ourselves to God’s grace in a profound way. We become women for others and men for others and with St. Paul we can state that, “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:19)