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Reflections from the Marist Community of Welcome in Austin, Texas


John Paul “JP” Nguyen was one of seven founding members of the Marist Community of Welcome in Austin. JP graduated last December and left Austin to go begin his business career in Dallas. Once his company began “working-from-home” JP decided to return to our community to work from our home. JP’s reflection on his return to our community follows:

In the classical view of prudence, it is the virtue that is most closely tied to acting joyfully and freely. Docility, an openness or receptivity to what one has been invited into, is an essential element of a prudent act. To be docile is especially difficult in a society where we are all “self-makers”. As we leave home for college, we are told to choose for ourselves how our lives are to look. Although this can be fruitful, it can also lead us into forgetting that much of life is given to us. Before leaving college we are given to a particularly family, community, culture, and faith. Though the liberation of what we have been invited into from our childhood and teenage years can be exciting and fruitful, it can affect our ability to act well. Our purest and greatest acts are the ones that are most docile to what we have been “thrown into.”

In the Marist Community of Welcome, I did not necessarily choose the roommates that I lived with. I didn’t choose the schedule or the foods we would eat (If I did, I probably would’ve lost my roommates). There was just an openness, a docility, to what was before me. In that docility, I was able to freely love the members in the community and to live joyfully.

We act most freely and joyfully when we begin in receptivity to what God has invited us into. The Marists, the “little Mary’s”, have a patroness that models the fruit of docility. A docility to the Holy Spirit allowed Mary to give her “Fiat” which continues to inspire and teach us what it means to be fully given to the Lord!