Today is one of those days when I most feel not being at the motherhouse: one of our novices is making her first vows, lighting the lamp she hopes to be holding when the Bridegroom comes at last. And not far from the chapel where the vow ceremony is going on, another sister has her lamp trimmed and ready, though she herself is beginning to flicker like a candle. We don't know how much longer she will be with us--at fifty-five, she would have been expected to continue keeping that lamp burning two or more decades yet. But not even death puts an end to community (or to the mission!). Before I left Boston in December, I paid a visit to the infirmary to say good bye (and to give Sister a heads-up as to all the work I would be sending her way once she arrived at her eternal destination). She knows she will be kept busy during her "eternal rest."
So it is a time of special grace for our community, this passing of the torch of consecration from one generation to the next (the novice is young enough to be a daughter to the sister who is dying!).
Please pray for both of these sisters in a very special way, as well as for their families, who are experiencing such very different feelings as, for each one, a beloved sister is taking leave so definitively.