Journeying with the Jesuits

I was first exposed to Jesuit spirituality in January of this year, when I attended the Days of Discernment in Toronto.  I had desired to deepen my relationship with God and to determine how to discern his will for me, particularly because I was about to make an important decision that would affect how I would have spent this summer.

During the Days of Discernment, I learned about the Examen, finding God in all things, desolation and consolation, and other aspects of Jesuit spirituality.  I found this weekend to be very beneficial to my own spiritual growth; I felt that I could really apply what I learned to my own life.  I began using the Examen everyday (or at least tried to) and found myself feeling more grateful for each day that passes.

Upon arrival in Regina, there was no problem in me doing my Examen, every single night.  There were so many things going on in the school that gave me a lot to reflect on.  It became commonplace for me to be in a moment of joy and laughter to realize that God is present and that He has given me that moment.

However, it has become more difficult for me to find God in my everyday life.  In the two weeks that the students were out for vacation between the end of the school year and the week-long trip to Calgary, I have spent a lot of time alone at my home here and in the school.  It was easy to get caught up in being bored of the simple tasks I have to do.  I could not help but ask God, “Where are You?” In my time of loneliness, I thought that it was impossible to find God.

I was at home one Friday when God gave me the answer to this question.  I was feeling miserable, because I was at home, doing nothing.  I was probably doing some chores when I felt God telling me that He gave me the moment of loneliness.  I have been so caught up in being with others that I have forgotten to be with Him, who is the only One who can ease all my feelings of loneliness.

That was a profound moment, to say the least.  I have always been terrible at seeking God in times of distress and desolation. To hear God speaking to me, asking me to come to Him so that He can show me His love and that He is always with me.

God has continued to make Himself known to me in my experiences here.  I have dinner with the Jesuits here in Regina every Thursday and we have Mass before we have dinner.  During one particular Mass, the homily spoke about the work that is involved in God’s mission for us. I knew that God was speaking to me in that moment, telling me that my work in organizing the library and the laundry room is part of His mission for me and that there is a greater purpose in me doing these activities.  To learn this gave a deeper mission to my service here and has become my motivation to work at the school while the students are gone.As a future teacher, these experiences have also taught me much about what it means to be an teacher.  Before coming to Regina, I had the belief that I would be working constantly with the students at the school, assisting in classes, working one-on-one with them, and other things.  While I was able to do these things, I also spent as much time, if not more, doing tasks that I would not have envisioned myself doing.  I now have a deeper appreciation for everything that a teacher does in the school.  Furthermore, I know that everything that I have done is for a greater purpose in the school and in God’s plan for me.


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About The Author

Andrea Carandang, a student in the Concurrent Teaching Education Program at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, spent the summer as a Jesuit Volunteer with Mother Teresa Middle School in Regina.