When I graduated from Marquette in 1994, I worked for a couple of years to “end homelessness.” And homelessness persisted and God stayed quite unfeeling in his dappled sky and my expectations for what we can do in the world lessened. Dwindled to a pithy desperate phrase: this is simply how the world is. And yet God, as Paul tells the Ephesians, can accomplish more than we can ask or imagine. St. Ignatius has a similar thought: “There are very few men who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves entirely to his hands.”
Abandon yourself entirely. This feels ridiculous and terrifying. How to let go completely? I think Ignatius would say: Abandon even the fear of abandoning yourself. Abandon to God the very act of abandonment and simply let God do his work, more than you ask or imagine. Let us put homelessness to route. Let us do whatever. But let God do it through you. God and his grace. That is enough for us.
—Joe Hoover, S.J. is a Jesuit brother writing and acting in New York. He serves as poetry editor of America magazine and also works at St. Ignatius Grammar School.