Saturday, November 3, 2012

All Souls' Day: Reflecting on Eternity

Today we have the blessing of All Souls' Day.  We know that purgatory is a place in which there’s a chance to purify the sins that have not yet been purified.  I believe part of purgatory is seeing who we truly are in our innermost being and the ways in which we have not been true to ourselves.  Purgatory gives us a chance to become true to ourselves. 
Today when we visit the cemetery, we remember our sisters and we pray they are all in heaven, but if any one not be we offer our prayers for them.  Today is a day on which we can be a great service to those who have gone before us.  There is the mystery of suffering for others.  It doesn’t mean that we have to do something extraordinary and painful, but it can be the simple accepting of whatever God gives us for the day.  We know that those people who become most perfect are those who have suffered like Christ.  I think it’s because you have to love something more than yourself to suffer like Christ.  God sends us nothing that we cannot endure and it’s through nobility that suffering is accepted.  Suffering is truly a gift.  But to know and to believe that is only possible through faith.  The noblest people are those who suffer, and suffer pointing towards God. 
In a most special way we nuns have been chosen to serve God most perfectly.  Everything we do is to be in His hands.  We can ourselves ask, “Am I all that God is calling me to?  Am I doing everything that God has asked of me?  Do I serve as He would like me to?  And do I see life as a gift from His hands?  Or have I twisted my life and made it something other than He wants it to be?”  Thinking of those things can give us compunction of heart.  I’m sure today, those who have gone before us would want to tell us what they wish they would have done differently during their life.  May they pray for us that we can see those things in our own lives before we die.  Live differently.  We are called to be different from the world, to give that example of preparing for eternity.  

Reflection given to the nuns of the Abbey of St. Walburga by Mother Maria Michael Newe, OSB. 

Some of our sisters who have gone before us to eternal life:
Mother Gertrude, the second prioress of our community.
Sr. Miriam, the first American postulant, entered at age 19 and showed great courage as she battled lupus for 30 years.
The two Fackler sisters, Sr. Benedicta and Sr. Angelika.

Sr. Mechtild loved to entertain guests by playing the harmonica

Sr Angela pictured here managed the farm most of her life.
Sr. Regina, who began our Altar Bread business, was a highly talented artist and a model before becoming a nun.  She also died of a very virulent form of lupus in her early 40's.