When seeking to make change in my community, I often ask myself,“Is this worth it? I am being met by challenge after challenge after challenge! So much time and effort – for what?” It can be debilitating. But the answer I continually hear through prayer when this work is seeking to make change for good, is “Yes!” And my love for the communities I am advocating for—its meaning, its purpose—always serves as my WHY. Because of love. Love is patient, love is kind.
Other times, when I am faced with a discernment, determining next steps, especially with works of charity and justice, one leading question I ask myself is, “What would be most loving for me? What would be the most loving decision I can make for others (to the best of my ability)?” It is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests…I find that the answer I receive is sometimes not the easy one, but it may present more challenge. Sometimes there is even a conflict within the answer. But, what I do find, is that the most loving decision I make will provide me with more internal freedom. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I can’t imagine how St. Maximillian Kolbe felt when he sacrificed his life for another. When a persevering college student, dedicated to social justice, is met with challenges from administration or peers, what keeps that student going with their efforts? The woman who painfully sits next to her parent who is stricken with a disease, why does she do it? Love. Love is the answer, and when freely given and offered, it is that much more powerful. Love never fails.
Crystal Catalan serves as the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Presentation High School in San Jose, CA. She holds degrees from the University of San Diego and Eastern University, and previously served as a missioner with Cabrini Mission Corps in New York, the Philippines, Swaziland, and Radnor, PA at Cabrini University. She recently graduated with a masters in pastoral ministries with an emphasis in restorative justice and chaplaincy at Santa Clara University.