This past weekend, my dad and I had the pleasure of attending the 50th Jubilee of a dear woman named Sister Mary Joan. This Carmelite nun is Sister Mary of the Angels. No matter how much time passes before I see her, I always feel a kinship with her. Believe me I let “way” too much time pass.
Some of the descriptive words I’ve heard used for Sister are ~ precious, childlike, sweet and joyful. I have to agree with that description. There is no doubt she is a woman, but her sweet nature and faith reminds us Jesus calls us to be childlike so that we may enter into His Kingdom. Some people don’t understand the use of the term “childlike.” It doesn’t mean childish. It means a pure trust in God, seeing good in others, choosing to love, and finding joy in all creation.
At her reception I told her my Guardian Angel must have been whispering to me earlier that morning. On the way to pick up my dad, I was thinking of Mary and Martha. I thought about how Sister Mary Joan was like Mary, spending time with Jesus. As a Carmelite we think of her praying, reading, sacrificing and studying. Then I thought about how she was like Martha. She has her discipline which includes duties and service too. Every time we hear the story of Martha and Mary, it should cause us to think of our relationship with Christ. Myself, I’m lazy. I know I would be on the floor listening to Jesus while someone else busied about serving everyone else. I often wonder if Jesus is saying there is a time to serve and a time to listen. He didn’t chastise Martha. He just said Mary chose the best. Maybe focusing on Jesus causes everything else to fall into place.
Why did I think my Guardian Angel was whispering that day? The Gospel reading was on Martha and Mary which I believe was chosen by Sister. The priest remarked about the same thing with the contemplation of Mary and the service of Martha.
Finally I thought about our time here on earth as opposed to eternity. Here Sister Mary Joan has virtually given a lifetime to Our Lord. Her love for Him, her love for us, her service to Him and her service to us is a path that it seems few choose these days. Her example is one reminding us to take some time to be quiet and reflect. Her example is one reminding us to serve with love, however and whenever called. Thanks to God for Sister Mary Joan and the other Sisters at the Carmelite Monastery. Thank God for our brothers and sisters who have chose a life of religious service. I love you more than you can know, and I believe many others feel the same. We just fail to tell you or don’t tell you enough.
Everyone please remember to pray for more vocations.