Daily Reflection
November 11th, 2003
Maria Teresa Gaston
Center for Service and Justice
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Memorial of St. Martin of Tours - bishop
Wisdom 2:23--3:9
Psalm 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19
Luke 17:7-10

“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” (Luke 17:10)

 I wish to give thanks for three ‘faithful servants’ and to pray for their light to inspire and strengthen us in living out our obligations as Christian servants today.  St. Martin of Tours, whose feast the Church celebrates today, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, MM, founder of the School of the America’s Watch, and Ligeia “Gigi” Cannon, spiritual companion, teacher, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and friend whose life hundreds celebrated at St. John’s Church on the feast of All Saints.  Their lives embody the tensions of today’s scriptures’call to holiness. 

Like St. Martin of Tours of the fourth century, Fr. Roy felt he was doing his duty, serving as a soldier in the military.  Both experienced unexpected conversions through contact with Christ in the poor and suffering and felt commanded to resist violence.  Both were imprisoned for acts of civil disobedience and later ordained to serve the church as priests and peacemakers for many years.

On November 21st three thousand members of Ignatian schools and communities, including 57 of us from Creighton University and Creighton Prep High School will travel to Columbus, Georgia for an “Ignatian Family Teach-In” and prayer for peace and justice in today’s world.  We meet there in conjunction with the School of the Americas Watch protest and vigil begun by Fr. Roy on the first year's anniversary of the assassination of the 6 Jesuits from the University in El Salvador by School of the Americas graduates.  (See www.soaw.org) 

And then there is Gigi. The scripture tells us the ‘souls of the just are in the hand of God’ that ‘they shall judge nations and rule over peoples.’    I am expecting some great things now that Gigi Cannon is in a position of greater influence!   Having shared the ‘Commons Café’ with Gigi in 2001 and served with her on the Social Ministry Commission, I know how much she longed for peace and for justice in our world.  I am sure at times she felt like an ‘unprofitable servant’ in the face of all that is not as God wills in our world.

So many of us were drawn to her for spiritual direction because of her depth, her tenderness, her vast and varied life experience, her gentleness and humility, her directness and vitality.  This woman knew God and communed with God.  All of us who long for closeness with God were drawn to Gigi like a magnet.

 We were stunned at the onset of her cancer and struggled with being given  little time before her death.  Her ‘going forth from us’ seems like ‘utter destruction’ but Wisdom’s author says God formed us to be ‘imperishable’ and ‘in God’s own nature’! (v 2:23)  Having known Gigi, we better know God’s own nature.  It is the experience of this infinite and unconditional love that empowers us to keep putting one foot in front of the other, doing what we are obliged to do and at times taking risks as peacemakers, extravagant lovers of the poor and of the God of justice.

Thank you, God, that you continue to raise up saints and prophets among us like Gigi, Roy and Martin, who help us to taste your bold and boundless love for us and for our world, and who by their freedom and courage inspire us to do all that is commanded us.

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