Today is the last day for the spring 2011 interns at the CCAO. I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed. As an advocacy intern, I have learned so much. I studied in depth many different social justice issues that the Columban Fathers deal with, especially those related to the environment, my assigned issue. I have been able to learn more about my assigned countries, Peru, Ireland, and Japan, and have been able to keep a close watch on recent news in Japan surrounding the earthquake and tsunami.
In addition to all of the knowledge I’ve gained, I’ve also gained professional skills and confidence. I was very nervous to attend my first Congressional hearing, not knowing what to expect. But after several meetings and events, I now feel much more confident and experienced in this area.
Most importantly, I learned about the greatest virtue that remains. This morning, we held an end of semester celebration for all of the interns. Amy opened with one of Khalil Gibran’s poems from, The Prophet. In it, he says that “all work is empty save when there is love”. This made me think of the faith basis that sets the CCAO apart from other advocacy organizations. We are motivated by our faith to work out of love and with love to advocate for the vulnerable. We cannot do the work that we do with a hardened heart. We must always keep in mind the people that we are advocating for and aim not necessarily to do many great things, but “small things with great love” as the Blessed Mother Teresa once said.
My position as a CCAO intern has come to an end, but my advocacy work has not. I know that I will go on from this office, continuing to keep myself informed on justice, peace, and integrity of creation issues, and taking action whenever possible. But whatever I do, wherever I go, I will strive always to go out of love and with love.