• April 25, 2012

Marie Celeste R. - Thailand 2011-2013

I grew up with a fas­ci­na­tion and admi­ra­tion of cul­tures and lan­guages, a gift given to me by my par­ents. What makes this even more a blessing is that this appre­ci­a­tion, respect and excite­ment has always been an appre­ci­a­tion of the heart, rather than the music or lan­guage. Seeing the uni­ver­sality of the human heart in a way that doesn’t brush aside or ignore the dif­fer­ences, but instead delights in and appre­ci­ates them.

My love of the heart has grown as I have learned of the world­wide reality of love and also of the reality that this love is not always known, that not all people know their worth and great­ness. Growing in my Catholic faith has broad­ened and in many ways made sense of my appre­ci­a­tion of the human heart. I realize that the human heart is a hungry heart. It is hungry for more than mate­rial or phys­ical needs to be met; it is hungry for authentic com­pas­sion. We long not only to be seen, but even more to be delighted in and appre­ci­ated. I have come to under­stand that the hunger I expe­ri­ence (even amidst the bless­ings of family, friends, shelter and Louisiana cooking) is the same hunger expe­ri­enced by people around the world, regard­less of age, race, gender, or nation­ality.

The uni­ver­sality of this hunger is as real as the heart is - and how fas­ci­nating the cure is! The very paradox of Christ and Christian life is that “it is in giving that we receive” (St. Francis of Assisi). For me, joining Heart’s Home is an oppor­tu­nity to give - and there­fore receive, knowing that as Christ’s com­pas­sion is shared and received, all people “may be one… so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21)

Marie Celeste will be leaving in January of 2013 for a two-year mis­sion in Bangkok, Thailand.

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