Adorn your bridal chamber part 2

Sr. Maria and Sr. Mary of the Pure Heart

A few days after the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, one of our elderly sisters, Sr. Maria of the Holy Eucharist, went peacefully home to the Lord. She was 96 years old, and for a good year or so had been patiently waiting for the Divine Bridegroom, whom she had served for over 75 years in religion, to take her home with Him. Well, finally He came! And like the wise bridesmaids in the parable, Sister had her lamp lit and ready to go. How many times would she say, “Whatever God wants ...” her will surrendering to His, even though this meant leaving the monastery to be cared for in a nursing facility for a few years—no small sacrifice!

It was fitting that she should go so soon after Candlemas Day, as she loved this Advent song: “Wake, awake, for night is flying: The watchmen on the heights are crying, Awake, Jerusalem arise! Midnight’s solemn hour is tolling, His chariot wheels are nearer rolling. He comes; prepare, ye virgins wise. Rise up, with willing feet. Go forth, the Bridegroom meet: Alleluia! Bear through the night your well-trimmed light, speed forth to join the marriage rite.” Like Simeon and Anna in the temple, she was ready to meet her Lord when He came. How many years of service! How many hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament! How many rosaries offered to Our Lady!

“Why did God make me?” the Baltimore Catechism asks. The answer is simple: “God made me to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him in this life and to be with Him forever in the next.” Although Sr. Maria quietly slipped away from us, and she will never make headlines, or be “popular” in any way, her life was full of meaning and purpose, because it was given wholeheartedly to the Lord, in the contemplative vocation to which He had called her. May she now rest in peace!