Written on January 30, 2018
It’s late on the west coast on this day in January remembering Sister’s entrance at Carmel two years ago. A lifetime ago. I have spent the last hour looking through pictures and, wow, did this girl take a lot of selfies! So many smiling, happy, beautiful pictures. But this is the one for today. Her serious and contemplative look maybe matches my mood today. Because, friends, this cloistered business is hard stuff!
Since her first vow in October, there has been an acceptance, a settling. Like this is it. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe it is. We started the simple prayer and penance for priests and religious at the beginnig of this month and on cue the devil did his messing with our girl. After talking to priests and religious, these struggles, these valleys and peaks she’s navigating are normal, they would all say. And then follow up with something like, but the cloistered, that’s a whole other level. We saw so many of these beautiful men and women at the walk in San Francisco and, after the tears, because, gosh, I can’t see a sister in a habit without crying, I felt such a deep appreciation for what they give up and the sacrifices they endure. What a gift they are to the Church and to the world.
We have been doing affirmations for years. We choose a person, usually on a special day or because we sense someone needs it, and everyone goes around and says what they like about that person or things they do well, etc. Words of affirmation. That’s what Sister needed from us. So instead of long letters filled with the happenings of our crazy days, we sent her affirmations. Instead of a hug or a hand held or a tear wiped, we shared words of encouragement. And we pray. That’s all we can do. Ultimately, this is between her and God, and like my oldest said, we can barely understand the sacrifice. I am so proud of her for following what she believes is God’s calling for her. So in awe of what she is doing.
Two years. A lifetime. But I remember every single second of that day. ❤