By Jessica Morley,
Heart’s Home Volunteer in Spokane, WA
A few weeks ago, our community hosted what we called a “Friday Night Lenten Solidaridad” to draw a connection between our Spokane Heart’s Home and the Heart’s Home in El Salvador, the community I will be joining in the fall. At the end of the night we watched the movie “Romero”, which depicts the intense and heart-wrenching story of Oscar Romero’s love and commitment to the Salvadoran people during their brutal civil war, culminating in his martyrdom.
Watching the movie reminded me of the deep and fundamental connection between joy and brokenness. While it is natural to want to share in the joy of others, it is usually much more difficult to enter into others’ suffering. It is a place that we may want to shy away from, and yet it is to this place that we are often called, that we may share more fully and abundantly in the lives of our brothers and sisters. Each time we celebrate or mourn with another, we increase our heart’s capacity to experience more deeply the gift of Christ’s Incarnation.
While watching the movie, my heart leapt and burned for a country I have yet to meet. I glimpsed the beauty and the joy of the Salvadoran people, as well as the immense pain and desolation they have known. I was reminded of our Heart’s Home mission of standing with Mary at the foot of the cross, trusting that the suffering and seeming absurdities in life will one day find their fulfillment in Divine joy. It is the entry into this common mystery that connects our community in Spokane to Heart’s Home in El Salvador, Brooklyn, and all over the world.
As we welcome students and friends into our home here, we try to be aware of their hearts – laughing and celebrating much of the time, but also being willing and ready to be a presence that listens and gazes compassionately when life is tough. An openness to both of these poles in life allows us to live life more deeply each day.