Simply ready to…go to confession, get transferred to a different apostolate, and …cantor for a funeral mass in …2 minutes. Whoever said that the life of a Sister wasn’t very exciting? We follow a rule of the day outlining what we will be doing, and yet we are told to be simply ready, because you never know what you will be doing next.
Mother M. Anselma says “our special mission is to be simply ready in obedience to God’s call. One of the ways in which He lets us know His Will is to show us by the signs of the times what is needed in our service of Christ.”
This past Friday, I received a chance to put this maxim in action. The music minister of the parish came barreling down the stairs into my music classroom looking for a cantor. The parish cantor didn’t show up for the funeral mass that starts in 2 minutes, and there’s no one to sing. “Sure, I’ll fill in.” By God’s grace, my morning was free as the 3rd and 4th graders were away on a field trip. There goes my planning period, but, oh well.
I know that Msgr. Mullen was surprised to see me show up and very grateful, not to mention the family who were never aware of the situation, or the fact that I wasn’t a usual cantor. It was one less thing that they needed to worry about, and provided me with an opportunity to pray for them in their time of loss. I must say, however, that the funeral directors jaw dropped when Janice, the usual cantor, magically transformed into me. I would imagine it would be a shock to see a young Sister show up in the place of a 58 year old woman.
“Did I mention to you that you’ll need to sing Schubert’s Ave Maria as well?” (This addressed to me in a hushed whisper during the homily.) No. I’ve never sung it before, but… God’s will, if He’s asking it of me I’m sure it will be fine. And it was. I’m simply ready to follow your lead Lord, what do you want of me?
One of the beautiful things about being a religious is our vow of obedience. Many think that it is the one drawback of religious life. As a spiritual director of our community, Fr. Meenan, once said, in regard to being simply ready in obedience, that it allows us “the freedom to be able to move because I have one passion in my life and that passion is God’s Will and God’s service according to His Will,” As such it is one of the greatest blessings to our lives. Being a crusader for His will rather than my own allows me to really follow the gospel and say “What do You want of me?” in all sincerity.
I am simply ready to follow wherever the Spirit leads. As I finish college, and a transfer is imminent I am simply ready to take up my next assignment. And once I’m there, am I simply ready to go where He and the community lead me? I hope so.
I’m simply ready.
What do you want of me?
- posted by Sister Mary George Brown, FSGM