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Once back in Sacramento, Shan knew she had to fulfill her penance and  do something good for the poor, as the priest had asked her to. She did it, from what I understand, to respond, to correspond to God’s love for her. As she said, “He had mercy on me: He gave when I was not even looking; when my father was sick and dying.” But this is exactly the way I work as well: when I am showered with love, feeling chosen, and cherished, and valued, I want to correspond to such love, I want to love back and give without measuring. It is like my heart is so full, that somehow it overflows.

Now, imagine. Shan wants to do something. Great! But, what? I often find myself in similar circumstances: I make a resolution, I want to do good, but I don’t know what, how, where or when to even start. So I stay silent, waiting for God’s voice to talk to me in my head, or any voice to talk to me, to give me a hint. The problem is, I am not that kind of person who hears (I know of friends who do, so I stubbornly have to try every single time). Anyway, it ends up being a bit impractical for me, especially given that fact that the resolution slowly fades away. Luckily enough Shan went a different way: she decided to listen.

Since coming back from her confession in Rome several years ago, she had started going back to church regularly at the Cathedral in Sacramento. This is the path that took Shan into Catholic Charities of California. At Mass one day, the priest finished his sermon and asked for volunteers to help create a program to serve the poor. Shan knew she had to respond and signed up. The priest called her up a week later. Shan had been grieving her father’s death. The priest told Shan he had known her father and what a great man he had been. Shan felt like it was her dad talking to her; a present from heaven. She knew she was on the right path. Shan was the only person to show up to the meeting at the Cathedral and worked with the priest to start a Saint Vincent de Paul and a program to provide housing to people who are homeless downtown.

This is how Shan got into Catholic Charities of California. So, going back to that first question, whether she is working at CCofCA because she was called there and believes in what she is doing, or if it is just a job, like any other would be? The answer is yes, she is there to do good for the poor, she is there because it was a calling, and it was her calling.

Calling. Another interesting word…

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