A Reflection on Being Hope

Cars, traveling at high speeds amid a maze of drivers keeping focused on their destinations, come to a slow crawl.  I am coming close to an area that I call the “Spaghettti” because several highways connect in the area.  If one is not focused, it is easy to miss the exit to a particular highway.  Like eating spaghetti, which can slip quickly off my fork, I have to quickly reroute my thinking to decide what my new route will take me home.  In the slowing down, I read the words, “You Are Beautiful,” perched on a car garage made of stark steel beams.

“You Are Beautiful” greets me every evening at the end of a day of work.  Some days the traffic flows smoothly, but for the most part, traffic slows down in that particular part of the highway.  “You Are Beautiful” connects me with the Creator, whose breath brought forth a new creation out of the chaos.  The words are an affirmation of how each of us is a beloved daughter, beloved son, beloved sister, beloved brother, beloved parent.   The words challenge me to be open to God’s beauty in those I meet and work with every day.

Sometimes the people I meet are clothed in attractive coverings and sometimes they are clothed, like the stark steel beams, in the starkness of their suffering, their homelessness, their imprisonment, their loneliness, their pain from being abused or abandoned.  How are my interactions with them helping them discover how they are created in God’s beauty?  Sometimes, I may be the person that needs to listen to the words, “You Are Beautiful.”

The orientation of our General Chapter invites us to be women of hope in the midst of our universe.  “You Are Beautiful” reminds me that the more I embrace God’s beauty in me, in others, in all of creation, the more that I will be able to be hope.  This hope opens us to God’s grace in the beauty and starkness of life and will lead us to eternal happiness when our earthly journey is completed.


Juana O. Villescas, SSCJ

San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

July, 2023