Nada te turbe, nada te espante, solo Dios basta. Every time I hear these beautiful words of St. Teresa of Avila sung by the Taizé Community, I am reminded in its translation that “God alone fills us.” I am reminded that even in the midst of this ongoing, painful pandemic, God is still there, and here, and with me, and with all of us.
During this time, I have had to learn how to be flexible with plans. I have had to learn to no longer be surprised when an event is cancelled, postponed, or moved to the virtual setting. I have had to give up control. Sure there was disappointment, but then traditions started to look different, and I learned to see things differently with new eyes. Oh, the many possibilities!
Likewise, in the school setting, there was the invitation to rethink service opportunities and immersion trips. The “Well, this is how we have always done it!” no longer held weight, and I found myself going back to the why. I recognized that the why of acts of charity and justice remained the same: because each human life is sacred and we are called to uphold the human dignity in each person. And so, the invitation now was in the how.
Yes, I tried to cling as hard as I could to our traditional way of programming, but the time called me to think differently and creatively, and to still keep my eyes and heart fixed on faith, justice, equity, peace, love, inclusion, and mercy. And as long as I took intentional steps towards emphasizing those values in our programming, I could not be disturbed when I would find out my Plans A through C were no longer possible, and had to quickly come up with a Plan D.
Still, when moments seem impossible, I have learned to draw closer to the heart of God, continue to do justice, invite others to do the same, and remember that God has and will always go before me. And with that, solo Dios basta.
Crystal Catalan serves as the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Presentation High School in San Jose, CA. She has degrees from 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 is currently pursuing her masters in pastoral ministries with an emphasis in restorative justice and chaplaincy at Santa Clara University.