Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sisters of Old, Sisters of the West

The wind was gently blowing, the ground beneath where I sat crossed-legged was hard and cold, there was a chill in the air that made me want to retreat to the indoors where the heat was surely roaring--but I felt called to prayer in the most unique way. I was sitting behind Our Lady of Angels Convent in the middle of the cemetery, in front of Sr. Franciscetta Linus' grave asking for prayers.

I never knew Franciscetta, in fact I was nearly 11 months old when she died. I had been walking the grounds around the graves of all the sisters who have gone before, and I felt called to ask for their prayers and support. If we truly believe in what we proclaim then all those sisters are partaking in the communion of saints and for this we should rejoice knowing that we have such special people looking after us!

There was no reason for my choosing this particular sister other than as I walked the rows of stones, reading names, I felt drawn to her, maybe it was the year she died, "1983" the same year I was born, maybe it was her name (which I'm not sure I can even pronounce) but is quite unique, maybe she really did speak to me, calling me into communion with her. For whatever reason the two of our paths have crossed I am certain the Holy Spirit had some work in it!

As I sat there praying that chilly Sunday afternoon, meditating upon my own journey, and asking Sr. Franciscetta to be with me, I felt the incredible presence of the sisters in that grave yard dancing around me. It felt like a mystical communion of saints, the sisters of old dancing about me in joy and support. It was truly an amazing prayer experience, one for which I am sure I will continue to be grateful and of which I will continue to reap the benefits.

Friday I was reminded of this experience when upon arriving home I opened a letter stuffed with greetings from sisters in Tacoma, Washington. Like Sr. Franciscetta, with the exception of two, I have never met these sisters, and yet I feel deeply bound to them. Their words of welcome, love, and support brought tears to my eyes. "You are an answer to prayer and God's Call." "May you feel the love, prayers, and support of the sisters as you journey." "Thank you, Sara, for saying YES and I welcome you to our dear Community." "My prayer for you is that through God's grace and the help of His Most Holy Mother, you will find the peace, joy and contentment that your heart desires, in our way of life!"

I am overwhelmed with the support and love these sisters have offered me! I share in the "hope" that many of them expressed in their letters, that I may one day travel to the West to meet them. For now, through the sisters of old and the sisters of the West and truly the whole community, I know deep in my heart I have found home.

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