Saturday, June 5, 2010

To Dolores MIssion for the Summer

The past few days, I have been spending time here in Spokane preparing for my upcoming summer. As I have mentioned earlier, I will be going to Dolores Mission Church in LA. I came across its website, which you can find here.

I must admit that I find myself a little nervous about going. There were a number of reasons that I wanted to go: to practice some Spanish, to be in contact with poorer populations and to learn from them, etc. I wanted something that would push me and stretch me beyond my comfort zones, and I think this experience will certainly do that. Despite my nervousness, I have been given thus far in my Jesuit vocation the grace of of being able to see Christ in all of my experiments, and I believe Christ is very much at work in the place I will be going. I seek always to place my trust in God and to be open to God's movements in my life.

During my silent retreat, I was reading two very different books. One was Kierkegaard's Works of Love. Probably a little heady for some, and not too philosophical enough for others. For a thinking person of faith, it is right up my alley. The other was Fr. Greg Boyle's recent book Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. His book has a number of real stories that are both profoundly moving and challenging to read. Really, though, the primary content of these books are the same--God's incredible love for us and the challenge of accepting that love and imitating it despite our human weakness and frailty.

I mention especially Fr. Boyle's book because I will be spending some time as well at Homeboy Industries--a ministry targeted at ex-gang members. If you are interested in learning more, you should pick up his book.

So, I leave for my home state tomorrow morning. I ask for your prayers as I embark on my summer. God bless


Robin said...

Ryan, have an INCREDIBLE summer!

Ryan Rallanka, SJ said...

Thank you =)