Saludos Mi Familia de San Vicente de Pablo,
“We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love, we must know each other. We know God in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone anymore.”Dorothy Day
We are called to know each other.
We are called to know the Christ, the humanity, and maybe even the demons that dwell inside each other.
To know one another, is the slow, steady work of God called friendship.
And this ‘knowing’…it’s…
witnessing (and making) mistakes and forgiving.
dancing in the kitchen to marimba music.
surrendering to vulnerability.
It’s recognizing the names for God that roll off each other’s tongues in times of terror and praise.
It’s identifying whose rice is lounging on the stove just by looking at it.
It’s learning about someone’s family — who they miss, love, and fight for. And what gets them up in the morning for another 12-hour day of cleaning office buildings and bathrooms. And why they fled.
It’s to “invitar” and accept the “invitar.”
sometimes boring and sometimes burning.
constantly growing, laughing, playing, cooking, and washing dishes.
clearing out stinky leftovers from who knows when.
remembering someone’s favorite ice cream flavor and which meat they prefer lay in their taco or rolled into their burrito.
We’re called to know and be known.
And only in that mutuality do we enter solidarity, break open ourselves, and discover God.
We’re called to ‘know’ one another, not just ‘about’ one another.
Then we can really love.
And I keep thinking about how one guest does her makeup at the kitchen table.
And how another deeply loves her son who’s still in her home country.
And how a couple eats their meals on Facetime during their work breaks.
And how one father braids his daughter’s hair.
And the person who’s cranky because they’re sick, and I can hear them yelp in occasional pain.
And I wonder what they’d ‘know’ about me.
that’s the work of justice — to deeply, profoundly, and intimately know one another.
Tinamarie Stolz is a Campus Minister at St. Joseph’s University and a parishioner at St. Vincent De Paul in Germantown. She is spending the summer at the Oakland Catholic Worker in Oakland, California. Check back for more updates.