Sarah’s Cannonball

My colleague Sarah Signorino just wrote a fine piece for the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Here’s a snip:

Canisius College just celebrated our Mass of the Holy Spirit to welcome in the new academic year. Our staff reflected on an April homily of Pope Francis to consider the message of the Holy Spirit. Pope Francis said, “the Holy Spirit upsets us because it moves us, it makes us walk, it pushes the Church forward.” He said that we wish “to calm down the Holy Spirit, we want to tame it and this is wrong…that’s because the Holy Spirit is the strength of God, it’s what gives us the strength to go forward.”

I love control, organization and planning. Parenthood, of course, has thrown me and every other parent-who-loves-knowing-what’s-next as much as I do! I was recently hit by a cannonball. My husband and I found out at the beginning of the summer that we are expecting baby #2! We were hoping to expand our family at some point but the news did come as a surprise. Starting the New Year with a 2 year old and a newborn will definitely erase any hopes of traveling and other individual goals we had just begun to think about tackling. My joyful news took some getting used to. I wanted to tame the Spirit to me on MY timeline!

When I saw the question, “What is your Cannonball?”, I reflected on the ways I was trying to resist the work of the Holy Spirit in my life as an individual woman, mother and wife. Sometimes God’s surprises can lead to greater joy—pregnancy, a new job, rediscovering the love of a partner or friend, or even unknowingly beginning the path to sainthood. What happens when these God-surprises may be hurtful (like getting hit by a cannonball) or full of loss (miscarriage, divorce, death)?

I reflected on “the cannonball” earlier in the year on the Feast of St Ignatius. It seems to have caught on as a theme in different Ignatian Circles. Great minds think alike!

What’s your cannonball?

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