By: Sr. Ruth Kuefler
This past year has involved many significant transitions for me: not only readjusting to life in America after five and a half years in Rome, but also transitioning from philosophical and theological studies to the rhythm of full-time ministry on a college campus.
Returning to the St. Lawrence Center at the University of Kansas has had special meaning for me: this place is very dear to my heart since it is precisely at KU that I grew in my own faith and discovered my vocation. Praying every day in the very chapel where I first heard the call to be an Apostle of the Interior Life has brought me back to the roots of my identity and mission. It is surreal at times to realize that I am back in this place that so shaped and formed me, called now to help shape, form, and guide new generations of college students.
By far one of the most beautiful and humbling experiences of this first year of ministry in Lawrence has been meeting one-on-one with students for spiritual direction. It is a privilege to get a glimpse into their souls and share in each one’s unique sufferings and joys, growth and transformation.
If there is anything I am learning this year, it is that the human heart is truly a mystery; delicate and complex, and that the interweaving of God’s grace in this labyrinth of the human person can be at times elusive. Helping to guide the journeys of different students I am constantly challenged both to grow in patience, waiting for His timing, as well as to develop the receptivity to welcome and act on important breakthroughs.
At times I question my own ability to be a good spiritual guide and mother; but as I have been recently reminded by one of my own guides: being a new mom is something you can only learn by doing! Just as raising a son or daughter involves learning so much about feeding, caring for, educating and ultimately loving your child, in a similar way, nurturing someone in the spiritual life challenges me to learn and grow right alongside those I meet with in spiritual direction. I pray that I may always remain open to God’s grace in my own life to serve Him better and love those He has entrusted to me.