doing or being?

Do you ever question whether you are doing enough for others, or feeling as if you are not doing as much as others might be doing? Do you compare your actions or good works with those of others? Does it sometimes seem that you fill your calendar with “good works” and then go through the motions wishing you were doing something else?

As sisters, associates, and agrégées, we are called to more than just doing. We are called to reach out to our dear neighbor without distinction and to be present. This reminds me of words from a song by Jan Novotka, The Presence You Are: “It’s not what you do but how you do it; it’s not what you see but how you see it; it’s not what you say, what you know or achieve, but it’s the presence, the presence, you are.”

Our presence can make a difference in many ways. Whether it is calling or visiting someone who is homebound, holding the door for someone, smiling at a stranger as you pass on the street, spending a few minutes on the phone with someone who is lonely, having a cup of coffee with a friend, or perhaps giving grocery gift cards to a homeless person. It’s all these things and more, sometimes less, but it’s what’s in our heart at the time that allows us to be present. It’s the difference between helping someone and wishing you were somewhere else, or helping someone with love in your heart and being attentive in the moment.

Whether we are called to do big things in our lifetime or not,  we are all called to be present to our neighbor in any way we can – this is what makes the SSJ Mission Possible.


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