a reflection : re-focused, re-centered, reinvigorated

from January 14-16 i attended the Ignatian Solidarity Network Leadership Summit held at the Mercy Retreat Center in Burlingame, CA (right outside of San Francisco).

i will spare you the details and instead include the link so that you may find out more if you wish:

http://www.ignatiansolidarity.net/lead-2011

upon returning to Creighton many people asked me how it was. my short response was FORMATIVE, INSPIRING, and SUPPORTIVE. it took me a while to actually pin down this weekend into those three adjectives. it was an incredible experience.

there were 48 of us college students from 18 Jesuit universities across the nation (and USD). it was an incredible conglomeration of such passionate people who have been called to change the world. there was such a wealth of knowledge and resources between the 48 of us. i cannot be more thankful for the relationships and friendships i created from that weekend.

i also walked away from that weekend with something concrete and the resources to continue making a change on campus and in my community. we were trained on how to make an action plan and the resources we may need to live out our plan.

a few wise words truly came alive for me that weekend:

first is Fr. Pedro Arrupe’s prayer:

Fall in Love
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

second is my favorite quote by Sr. Ita Ford:

“I hope you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. Something worth living for-maybe even worth dying for, something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead. I can’t tell you what it might be-that’s for you to find, to choose, to love. I can just encourage you to start looking and support you in the search”

i walked away from that summit knowing that if i focused on a few things and did them very well and my 47 counterparts focused on their passions and did them very well, then all of our small changes would really be big changes because of our support in and community with each other.

thank you to Ann, Mike, Fr. Jerry, Jennifer, and Mike for putting together a weekend that has so changed my life. thank you to the 47 other delegates for your inspiration and support – i cannot wait to hear about all that you do (and to see you at IFTJ in the fall!)

my life has been re-focused. my spirit has been re-centered. and my hope has been reinvigorated.

paz, elizabeth.

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