By: Clarisse Benoit, ’14
As I prepare for the possibility of going to Kenya next summer to serve in Our Lady of Grace School, I am constantly reminding myself to stay focused on the true purpose of this endeavor. It is easy to get swept up in the idea of “service” as some sort of romanticized adventure.
Christian service, however, amounts to quite a bit more than that. Christian service flows out of genuine empathy for fellow human beings – my sisters and my brothers. It flows out of a realization that God has called me to bring God’s love to my sisters and brothers by sharing their joy and their suffering.
Faith, I believe, is essential for sustaining this spirit of service in the fullest sense. That said, there are many acts of community service not based in faith, all of which certainly benefit the world. When it comes to sustaining a life committed to joyful service, however, I think faith is the ultimate answer.
The reflection and insight of prayer, the grace of the Sacraments, and the perspective and hope that faith provides offer an infinite source of strength and encouragement. Service, not always glamorous, stretches us far beyond our comfort zone. If inspired only by some level of adventure sought, the thrill can wear off quickly. Faith is what makes a genuine giving of oneself in service possible.