Monday, December 21, 2015
Several years ago, when I was still co-directing the NEH Concord Workshops, I met a very kind and very young nun from the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who had become separated from her companion. Sisters are not permitted to be alone in public, so I asked if I could stay with her until she located the missing Sister. She was a teacher and, before long, we had formed a friendship based on literature and our devotion to the Holy Mother (I am not Catholic, btw, but I am quite devoted to the Mother Mary). Sister recommended some books and, her friend being found, we parted company.
We have remained friends, corresponding occasionally, sharing books and experiences. And, through many "coincidences" things have unfolded in our relationship that speaks to Divine influence and planning. Prayers I asked her for have been answered and resulted in remarkable interconnections in both our worlds that neither of us could have anticipated.
Our worlds are so very different and, yet, she has contributed to my life in a myriad of ways. I am enriched by her influence and that of her Sisters. And, I have come to understand that her life is just as challenging and interesting as mine. Convent life is no doubt just as real as mine; it isn't sequestered, but, rather, it is rich, full and, even more amazing to me, more useful than I often feel mine is.
And, what surprises me even more, is that friends can be found anywhere if we are just willing to open our eyes and hearts.
Merry Christmas, dear ones!