I admit, I was pretty anxious heading to New Orleans all alone. I told anyone who would listen how I didn’t like the idea of going to the Big Easy all by myself! One thought after another came, what if, what if, what if?? But I had to go since it was a training and our area was in need of a trained facilitator for Loyola’s extension education program (LIMEX).Oddly enough, it seemed as thought I was brought there on the wings of angels with the Holy Spirit making sure I arrived safe and on time, the rest would be up to me. So there I was on my most blessed cell phone talking to my husband as I was an hour early for the workshop. I should have taken in what I could then cause my time would be limited and the city was incredible! As it happened I went through two days of the workshop with a migraine. A nasty one at that. So my memory of what took place is a little fuzzy as I was having other-worldly experiences. So, I won’t be able to speak to the four day experience as much as to the kindness that I experienced in those four days. But right now, a littl bit about the program.LOYNO, for those of your who may not know is Loyola University in New Orleans. www.loyno.edu
They offer an extension education program through their Institute for Ministry. I completed one of these programs a couple of years ago and it is there that I decided to start my blog. It was the conversation around a table as we hashed things out in a good old Jewish way about what we believed about our Catholic Faith. The acronym is LIMEX pronounced whatever way you want (small “i”/ big “I”) either way you have company! But remember it is in N’Awlins!
It is this program that awakened in me a drive to bring others back to the Word. I remember a friend of mine telling me that the “Church needs you” way back in the early ’90’s. I didn’t get it, I was active enough but always keeping my distance from the institution that conflicted me in so many ways. I went through the program on a bit of a lark…and experienced a deep and lasting conversion and reconciliation. Among those things I reconciled is that I will always disagree in some form with the church, there will always be things that stick in my craw, so to speak. But the faith, the mystery of the the Eucharist, the gathering of a community of disciples who then go out into the world and claim their truth is unchangeable. My admiration and desire to imitate the early Christians comes naturally as I see 8-10 of us gathered around a table in a room hashing out what it is we really claim to believe. The value of constantly looking at what we say and how we live is unmeasurable. It is also something we have lost in our sped up society.Tomorrow, I will tell you about the people I met…and about a greatly undervalued quality: kindness.
St. Ignatius of Loyola. He got it right, I hope someday I do too.