Thursday, May 5, 2011

What resurrection looks like...

Sunday, May 1st, marked eight months since “the accident.” Although this event affected three of my sisters irrevocably, I’ve been thinking about how we as community have also been changed. In some ways it feels like it was yesterday and in other ways like a very bad dream. “For then you shall forget your misery, or recall it like waters that have ebbed away. (Job 11:16).”

Because I have the privilege of sharing life with Sister Charlotte in Richmond, I am keenly aware of her physical and spiritual transformation. Sister is working four days a week at Bon Secours, St. Mary’s Hospital. Having been on the receiving end of “good help” in the ICU and step-down unit there, Sister Charlotte is able to walk with the sick and suffering in a new way. She is, for me, an icon of the resurrection – a glimpse of God’s grace at work in the hearts of all who prayed her back to life. Sister Charlotte’s courage in recovery and determination to find the blessings in this tragedy make her an exceptional woman of faith – in the world and in my life.

Sister Connie Ruth has made wonderful strides, literally - from wheelchair to cane and from our monastery Infirmary back to her own room. Throughout these months of recovery, she has been grateful for every kindness shown by nurses and sisters alike. Sister Connie Ruth beams when she talks of her time in Richmond – both at our high school and at the convent. Sister made new friends wherever she went in the city – most especially at Zacharias Ganey Health Institute. Although Sister Connie Ruth will not be returning to the mission house, she is serving the monastic community – contributing to the daily labor as her recovery permits.

This past Easter has new meaning for us as a community and certainly for the two sisters who have tasted new life. We are living in gratitude for the love and prayers of so many. We are able to lend our love and prayers to those who suffer now. Our hearts are with the people of Alabama who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods to tornadoes this past week. We are tethered by prayer to the Benedictine sisters there at Sacred Heart Monastery as they continue to live without power or light – even as they reach out to those around them who have been devastated. We pray to God for the victims of war – the innocent and the guilty. Lament and psalms of confidence are sung side by side. The cross and open grave herald the new order in which we are all bound together in Christ – one Body, though many parts. In the "Great 50 Days" of Easter joy, let us all be peace and risen love for one another. Let us live now what will be ours for eternity. “Then your life shall be brighter than the noonday; its gloom shall become as the morning, and you shall be secure, because there is hope (Job 11:17-18a).”

- Sister Vicki