• September 9, 2016

Orientation Program 2016:
an Introduction to the Hospitality of Heart

by Mara W.

My time at ori­en­ta­tion with Heart’s Home was very full - full of for­ma­tion, prayer, laughs, friend­ship, and beauty. I was struck by the good­ness, beauty, and freedom that so tan­gibly exists when people deeply care for one another - in essence, when people love one another. I saw this love expressed in many ways, but one that stuck out to me espe­cially is the atten­tion to detail or “hos­pi­tality of heart” that us “new­bies” were intro­duced to. The flowers on the bed­side table, the care­fully chosen music we lis­tened to at break­fast, the deli­cious and beau­tiful meals pre­pared by the tal­ented sis­ters, the all around atten­tive­ness to the needs of one another - these are just exam­ples of the ways Heart’s Home acknowl­edges the dig­nity and beauty within those they encounter. It opened my eyes to a mil­lion little things I can do to make others know they are loved and valued. Another impor­tant thing I learned during ori­en­ta­tion is the value of silence. Each morning we had break­fast in silence, each day we had an hour Eucharistic ado­ra­tion, and we even had a “de­sert” day, an entire day spent in silence. St. Theresa of Calcutta says, “In the silence of the heart, God speaks.” I learned the role phys­ical silence can have in cul­ti­vating silence in my heart and spirit, which allows me to be more atten­tive to God’s heart and the move­ment of His Holy Spirit. I grew and was stretched in so many beau­tiful ways during my two weeks of ori­en­ta­tion, and I cannot even begin to imagine the ways the Lord is going to stretch me and mold me while I’m in Ecuador! Although I know it will be a chal­lenge, I can’t wait to expe­ri­ence what He has waiting for me there and learn what else He wants to teach me!

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