I made the decision to return to Totus Tuus very shortly after the close of my last summer. Essentially, I told Jesus, “I am going to do Totus Tuus again unless you put something VERY appealing in front of me as an alternative and if You do You’d better make it VERY obvious.” Now, I would not suggest telling God your plans in such a stubborn way. It really doesn’t usually work out. But in this case, I was lucky enough to ask for what He had already planned on giving me.
Being a “returner” does not come without anxieties. But it does come with a whole summer of experiencing God’s graces in all imaginable situations; a summer from which I can draw confidence in His goodness and love for us and everyone we serve.
In the past two weeks I have been reminded by Him of the beautiful surprise I had at the end of last summer when reflecting on the depth of my relationships with each of my teammates. Who knew that humans were capable of loving so deeply after only two months? Definitely not me. As week one of teaching draws to a close, I look forward to every adventure and to the moment of reflection in late July where I will marvel at God’s goodness in putting us together.
I continue to be amazed at the graces that have and will come from God and the intercession of Saint Pope John Paul the Second, as I again find myself on the team under his specific patronage. On my pilgrimage to Rome in March I was able to pray at JPII’s grave. I thanked him for his intercession last summer and asked him to again intercede for the program this summer. I actively dismissed the dream of being on Team JPII for a second year. But as my former teammate said when I was telling him stories about Rome, “JPII just isn’t done with you yet.” And neither is God.