Dear family and friends,
Yesterday I visited my great Aunt, my grandmother’s sister. My grandmother passed away years ago, and I loved her dearly, so it was quite a treat for me to be able to see her little sister.
For a long time I’ve been wondering where my calling came from. I mean, certainly God can call anyone He wants, whenever He wants. But I believe the great graces God gives us in life come often as a result of the goodness of others, especially our own families. The good in us isn’t due to our good decisions alone, it’s also due to theirs.
I’m a priest, and my sister is a Franciscan Sister. Those are two little miracles right there, so I’d always wondered where they came from. My grandmother’s second cousin, Sister Marguerite Marie, was a cloistered Visitation nun in Annecy, France for over 60 years. I went to visit her once and was amazed by her goodness and grace.
|Sister Marguerite Marie
Going back to the camp, he filled his arms – he had huge arms – with the extra bread from the soldiers. He brought it to the sister and gave it all to her. From then on, as long as he was stationed there, he would bring the bread and place it behind a statue by the convent. When it came time for his unit to move on, he left a note to tell the sister. The last time he went to leave bread, she had left a rosary as a gift for him.
Bernard of Clairvaux said that we are “Standing on the shoulders of giants”. I certainly am: my parents, my grandparents, my great grandparents, Saint Joan, and certainly so many others whose names I’ll only know in heaven. My vocation, my priesthood, is such a gift, but it is not my own.
Makes my heart swell with gratitude. A thanksgiving, not just for the gifts of food and plenty, but even more a gratitude for the gift of those who’ve gone before us, and those who surround us, our families and friends.