Ezra 6:7-8, 12b, 14-20
"My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it." Lk 8:19-21
When Julie was accepted to the Sisters of Life, we started hearing stories about the life of a postulant: no phone calls, no email, and you only write home once/month. She even heard she might not be able to take pictures of us with her to the convent.
After her second visit to their community she told me about her final conversation with Mother Agnes. Mother said to her, "I can’t wait until the day that I can call you daughter." When she told me that I felt a stab in my heart and immediately I thought, no one else can be your mother – that’s who I am! How dare she?! Almost immediately the Holy Spirit whispered in my heart, "You will always be Julie’s Mom. There is room for Mother Agnes too." Of course, I knew it was true. And actually, how fortunate for Julie that she will be loved and guided by this holy woman!
Mary too must have felt something when she heard that Jesus said others were his mother. And all of us can often take something someone says wrong and be hurt by it. Years ago I took a little line from "God Calling" (my favorite daily devotional) and have tried to live it: "I refuse to be offended". Some days I have to say it over and over, but it’s a good one! It helps me to keep my peace and look deeper at what the person might have meant. It helps me rely on God when I don’t understand.
We are back from our trip to New York where we got Julie settled into the convent and met many of her new sisters. We loved every one of them, and came away knowing in our hearts that Julie is exactly where she is meant to be. We do still get to be her family, just in a different way, and our family is now 69 members bigger and richer! God is SO good!!! Oh, and she did get to take some pics with her.
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. Janice also leads women’s retreats. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 2, soon to be 3. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.jcarleton.com/ or email her at janice@frcedric/org