Monday, December 12, 2011

Goodbye Bethany

The halls are nearly empty as most of the missioners departed a day or 2 ago. Just a few more goodbyes and we'll be rolling out of here. For good. Bethany has served as the home of MKLM for several decades, but we'll be the last class to come through this building. For a variety of reasons our operations will be moving to the Society down the road and the building will be sold back to the Priests and Brothers. Even though I have only lived here for 3 1/2 months, it grieves me to leave this place.

This building is the heart and soul of Maryknoll. It's not just a building. It's a home. A memory of good times. A place where great friendships were formed. The start of the most major shift in my life. An embracing of a lifestyle that will break me. And heal me. Over and over again.

As Fr. Larry Lewis said in his Homely at the Covenant Signing Ceremony on Thursday, mission requires us to constantly empty ourselves so that we can be filled up again by the people we serve. Embrace the emptiness because that is where we'll find God. I certainly feel that emptiness today. It's a hard place to be. And I know the emptiness I now feel will only get greater as the next 2 weeks roll on. But I do believe there is a grace to it. It's a blessing to feel loss and pain, even if it hurts. It shows there is something good there.

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