In Gratitude

Sunday, July 1, 2012

At one point, I was going through a rough time during prepostulancy. Okay, maybe at more than one point. (But hey, that's normal, right?)

In the middle of Mass one day, I shut my eyes and was overwhelmed, downtrodden by all the doubts and insecurities that surrounded me. And then I saw something. In my mind's eye, I saw the pews in front of me full of Sisters kneeling. To my left, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton's Sisters - their black habit complete with their widow's bonnet. To my right, Daughters of Charity - the long blue dresses and rows and rows of white cornettes. I searched for a place among them, these dear ancestors of ours. How did I fit? Did I fit? Then suddenly, in the very front row, I saw a spot open in a pew of Daughters of Charity. I decided to squeeze myself in. As I lean my hands on the pew to kneel down, the Daughter next to me grabs my hand and squeezes it tightly.

I couldn't see who she was. The large cornette concealed her face. All I know is that she was a Daughter of Charity of long ago and she cared about me and felt that, yes, I did belong.

It was a very special moment for me. 

That was months ago, maybe even almost a year. But lately, now that I've moved far away than all I've known before, all the way to the most southern point of the United States, I feel that same affection and that same support. I love it here in Texas for so many different reasons. More than ever, within this past week, I've felt that same support and care as I felt through that anonymous Daughter of Charity I met in prayer...both by the Sisters I currently live with, Sisters I don't, and dear friends and family.

I've had many cross-country phone calls and letters since I moved to Texas. And almost all have ended with someone telling me "hey, I'm praying for you" Sometimes that can be just something we say but it is something that I do deep down believe they do. Or even if they don't literally say that they're praying for me, knowing that they took the time to call to ask how I'm doing is enough. As I sat this Saturday evening at Mass, somehow I really felt the presence of those prayers - most mysteriously from those who have come before me, those I never have known yet know me - as if it were a wave rushing over me. I thought of all those who pray for if they were a holy army. Or rather, since no violence is involved, better a holy march to heaven. And simply put, I was overcome with love.

This post won't be spreading like fire over Facebook or other sites as some of my posts have. There is nothing deep written here, no marvelous reflection that I hope will serve discerners in their search. No, this is a simple post to say "thank you". Know that, while it may seem like nothing, your prayers and your thoughtfulness mean the world. Thank you for your prayers, thank you for caring, thank you for loving and thank you for being a representative of God's love by doing so. 

May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done. - Ruth 2:12

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