Messages Home: Feb. 28, 2009

March 2, 2009 by

From Loretta Jasper, CSJ, who is been working for a month at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany. To learn more about her mission, click HERE.

As of Saturday, 2/28, 9 p.m. CDT, I am in my home in KC. My housemate, Rose Therese Huelsman, IHM, Monroe, MI. was my shuttle from the KC airport. Of course, at this point, my inner clock and the clock on the wall are still trying to meet in the middle given the time change of six hours between Germany and the Midwest. No surprise!

I left Germany with temperatures which had warmed in the prior week. We actually had one day of sunshine, given the grey skies, cold temps and lovely snows of my month in Bavaria/Germany. And, supposedly the temperatures prior to my arrival were too cold to snow. KC had just received a 5″ snow 24 hours prior to my return. All is well! Food, shelter, clothing, health, support systems: faith, family, friends. So much available to me!

The richness of my four weeks engaging with staff, families, and soldiers on post at Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Bavaria/Germany will be something which time will continue to digest and be integrated within me. (Such is my experience with most of what I encounter in my day-to-day–beyond words!) The added richness of having weekends available to hop a bus, train or car to soak in a bit of Germany and the Czech Republic (Prague) with colleagues, to engage with the locals wherever I/we went only adds to the treasures of this past month. Food, customs, quality of life and interactions among peoples, peoples’ stories, on and on!

My role with the staff, families, soldiers with whom I came in contact? To merely listen in a manner which will tend to the mending of brokenness and damage created by individual history; which oftimes has only exacerbated by the effects of service in the war zones, and multiple deployments to and from the war zones. My role in this venue has not been to tangle with the various philosophies which come with military service and service in times of war. My role in this venue is “presence to the dear neighbor”: open heart and sleeves rolled up. Simple? Not really. I have a few scars on my tongue from biting it. I am still sorting through the bluntedness of individuals’ reponses to being in the midst of horror, treating it as normal or “nothing”. But, how many times in the course of our day-to-day does “service to the dear neighbor” include presence and or experiences which are very foreign to our own experiences?

Many concerns have no easy solutions. But, being in the midst of this life this past month, once again, I learn even more so, that there are so many options:

— For example: How do I get where I am going when my GPS does not log in the address I am needing; and if the sun is not shining, I have no clue the difference between N-S-E-W? Ask; explore, re-explore, and just plain get lost.

— Perfection is limiting if there is no room for added challenges and the mistakes which come with challenges.

— What may be wonderful for me is truly strange and foreign to another and vice versa.

— There are many folks trekking this planet who are tending to life the best way known to them at a given time…

— And, that is how listening with the heart via “service to the dear neighbor” makes a difference in each one of us.

Now: On with living the day-to-day in Kansas City.

Loretta Jasper


One Response to “Messages Home: Feb. 28, 2009”

  1. Beth Stover on March 9th, 2009 3:03 pm

    Welcome Home< Loretta. Thanks for your message. Azazing all the learnings from strangers and the dear neighbor we seek to serve. The LC is in St. Louis at the Motherhouse. Pretty awesome to be standing on the “roots” of our foundation in the US. Just arrive and getting settled.

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