From my journal, Sept. 9 2006:
"Up at 4:30 am, hour walk to catch a bus to DC, volunteer the morning away, catch bus back, rest very briefly, catch bus to work, get home at 2:00 am. My knee was screaming for mercy by the end, and again - along with the rest of my body - when I woke up at 8:00 this morning. So, I'm fairly exhausted. And I'm probably going ramble. And possibly write a journal entry that I will wince at later.
"And yet, I wouldn't have it any other way. What I do at the Missionaries' (Mother Teresa's order), mostly, is sweep and mop floors and do dishes; last time was a break in the routine since they needed me to accompany a woman at the hospice to a doctor's appointment. But mostly it's cleancleansweatcleanclean, and somehow, in that, it's the highlight of my week. What the MCs are doing there, and elsewhere, is work that so very desperately needs doing, and they have such joy in it; it's a true privilege to be part of it even if I'm the one with the mop in her hand. Pray God I can be part of it, as a sister or as a volunteer, for the rest of my life - oh, I wander here and there and poke at this job route or that career. Medical billing, sign language interpreting, others. But it's the idea of life as an MC that holds me and draws me back again and again; something that's been true since my weeklong stay with them over three years back..."
It's been another three years. I left off the volunteering and in general drifted from the Church, caught in a cycle of shame and hiding and more shame. I still attended Mass most Sundays, but I did not receive Communion, I did not go to Confession; there wasn't much to me except bitterness and anger. That I've been called back, that anything in that journal entry is again true, is by the sheer grace and mercy of God. Not from anything I did or deserve - it's very easy to forget that.