March 24, 2011

Pots, Pans, Needles and Mops

At the end of my first year as a novice, when I received my mission assignment in July, the only words and emotions that were going through my head were, fear, worry, and “I can’t do this. How in the world am I am going to fit into the Apostolic Nunciature and actually be helpful there?” August quickly came and as Christ was obedient to the Father, I went in obedience. With a mysterious eagerness I went off to my new apostolate. I arrived at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. which would be my new home until February. Our community helps to care for the household of His Excellency, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, and several other Monsignors. Some of the ways we serve them include cooking, cleaning, laundry, and taking care of the chapels. Throughout mission I felt God’s grace pouring out especially when learning how to cook, sew or fix things I had never done before in my life. I became a living testimony to the words of our foundress Mother M. Anselma, “Obedience works miracles”.

Often I worked in the kitchen as the assistant cook. At first I was really nervous because I had never really cooked before, but with the help of my Sisters I learned some good tips and discovered an unknown enthusiasm for the culinary arts! I made my first apple pie a few weeks after I arrived in Washington D.C. and it turned out scrumptious. Soon I was making a variety of desserts and soups. Working in the kitchen turned out to be a favorite job. God gives us more gifts than we realize.

I also learned to sew while on mission. I remember when one of my Sisters asked if I could try to make some new aprons. I had never made an article of clothing before but I thought to myself, “God’s grace is sufficient. Let’s give it a try”. So after taking apart one of the aprons and figuring out how to work the sewing machine I surprised myself, and the aprons didn’t turn out too bad. With God’s grace I figured out how to make aprons, hand towels, and a few other things. When my family came to visit, my mother and my sister (who both know how to sew well), were quite shocked when I showed them what I had made. Trust is what is needed!

During these months, I experienced God’s grace tremendously as I accomplished all that I thought I could not do. He opened my eyes to see that with Him all things are possible. When we place our trust in the Lord He will never fail us but will always remain faithful to His promises.

While on mission, I not only grew in my relationship with Christ but also with the Blessed Mother. I realized that in all the different things I was doing, Mary was asked to do for Jesus. She cooked, cleaned, did laundry, sewed and did all the tasks a mother does for her children. Because the priests act in the Person of Christ, I often thought about how Mary took care of Jesus and how I also was caring for Jesus. I’m sure it brought Mary great joy when she cared for Jesus. I definitely experienced the Lord’s joy throughout my time on mission.

One of the other greatest gifts on mission was experiencing what it was like to live in a smaller convent. I lived with four of my Sisters and experienced many joys of community life with them. In the fall, we went to an apple orchard. We also took trips to the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. I loved getting to know my Sisters and spending time with them. Each of them has a special and unique gift to share with the rest of the community. It’s amazing to see how the Lord works through us and gives us each other to make His love known and also in the ways we are loved in return.

I am so grateful to the Lord for all His amazing graces He showered on me during mission. Everything that the Lord asked of me was never too great. But it was always the little things, sometimes acts of love that often remained hidden, that brought the greatest joy. It was a gift to be at the Apostolic Nunciature and to be like Mary, a handmaid of the Lord making His merciful love visible.

- Sister M. Isabella, FSGM

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written! Yes, that "AMAZING GRACE" :) is always there when we need it most! That pie was delicious!

Candice said...

Sounds like a wonderful learning and living experience. I saw a picture of you and one of the other Sisters in my church - St. Nicholas Cathedral across the street from you - with Father Constantine obviously explaining something about the icons. Small world!

Candice

Francis said...

Observable FACT:

if "goodness" were a measurable quantity, then...

1 FSGM Sister (even on her worst day) is > 10 men (of any chosen profession).

An FSGM is far greater proof of the existence of GOD. Thank you sincerely, for what you do--for all of us.