By Cheryl Marshall, who made her commitment into Heart’s Home’ St. Maximilian Kolbe Fraternity on May 27, together with Ted and Rachel Oberman and Timothy Hynes.
“It was a perfect Heart’s Home Day. We began with an hour of Eucharistic Adoration followed by an uplifting talk on Pentecost by Matthew Sutton. We then had mass during which we made our vows, our commitment to the Fraternity of St. Maximilian Kolbe. A lovely picnic was enjoyed in perfect weather at Fort Green Park. Our day ended with a recitation of the rosary and Evening Prayer. A perfect Heart’s Home Day.
I should have seen it coming. A few weeks before, I was fired from my job. I spent the last 7 years teaching music at a Special Ed School for students ages 5-21 with emotional, psychological and behavioral disabilities. What tormented me was the effect on the children I loved and gave my passion to. It was the children I spent sleepless nights over, worrying about the damage it would cause when music was pulled out from under them, the program and performances eliminated, worrying about the children feeling left and let down without explanation.
I was told a commitment to the Fraternity of St. Maximilian Kolbe would be the next step on my spiritual path, going deeper into the charism of compassion, deeper into the “abandonment and lowliness” of this path which we professed during our initiation. I was told we would be showered with Grace on this Holy Day of Pentecost. Yes, it was a perfect Heart’s Home Day, but my experience on this day was one of kenosis, of being completely emptied out, flushed clean, maybe not pure, but with new awareness.
Last week, after visiting the Women’s Homeless Shelter, I ran into one of my students on the street. This lance pierced my side. He wanted to know why I left. He said things were not the same. After he drove off, I burst into tears right there on the streets of Brooklyn. That kenosis again. More flushing, more purifying, most definitely deeper.
So on that “Perfect Day” the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, did come upon us all. We were touched by his Divine Flame, and for me as a new member of the Fraternity of St. Maximilian Kolbe, I began the search for my next chapter on the path of “abandonment and lowliness”, emptied of all attachments and self-will, self-image and ego. And there is that Grace I can depend on which comes with every moment at Heart’s Home, and that is what I’m counting on.”