A Truly Random Carmelite Musing
By Sister Mary Scholastica, O.C.D.
Praised be Jesus Christ! Greetings to Alanna (you know who you are) to Rose (you know who you are) and to Sylvie (if you don’t know who you are, you’re in trouble). ? It’s nice to know that someone is actually reading these reflections. ? Thanks!
You know…it’s amazing how God works in bringing people together. The two people I noted above…what are the actual chances on God’s green earth that our paths would have crossed in this life? I don’t know…a million to one? The world is a pretty big place and there sure are a lot of people walking around in it.
Alanna…you and I are pretty spread out in age ?, we were born in different countries, if my mother hadn’t converted and if I hadn’t entered this community we probably wouldn’t have met each other. And yet…when we met…we just knew…kindred spirits! Who would have thought?! And Alanna, if you’re thinking “kindred spirit?!?”, you’re in hot water. ?
Rose…I don’t know your story and how you came to work with us, but you did. God led you to us, and He brought you in through one open door and then placed you elsewhere in walking with us as a co-worker. I happened to meet you a few years back and your beautiful joyful spirit made it very obvious that you were someone who really resonated with our mission. All a God thing, otherwise, you wouldn’t be with us.
Sylvie…I can hear your laugh right now. And if I remember correctly…you forward these musings on to your oldest son…in the great hopes that he will read it. James…I’ll be testing you. Many of us grew up in Carmel watching your family grow up. And truly what a beautiful family you have. Those children of yours know that coming to Carmel is a part of life. Not only that, they look forward to it. How amazing is that! Joe and Sylvie….GREAT JOB.
Think about it. Everyone in your life, anyone whom you’ve crossed paths with, it was meant to be. As I meet people, this thought crosses my mind often. It’s not unusual to find myself thinking, “I wonder what the Lord has in store for me, for the person, for us?” In many cases, the people God put in my path brought me to a place of greater self-knowledge. How I thank God because these experiences through the people He sent my way changed me. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all my encounters were happy ones.
I can think of a situation where my interactions with a particular individual was a great personal suffering. I questioned God and wondered where He was in it all and couldn’t understand why He didn’t take it away. Looking back now…when I think of the person or even that time in my life, though I struggled deeply, I thank God for it. It changed me. It made me a better person. It was meant to be this way. My soul needed it.
Change. People can change us for the better. Alanna, Rose, Sylvie, Joe and Family…just by knowing them…I am a changed person. Every single person I cross paths with in life has the potential of changing me. That’s awesome. Stagnant water grows mold (I think…if it doesn’t…it sure sounds like it should. For sure, it attracts bugs. If it doesn’t, don’t tell me. ?) To be stagnant means there isn’t much life, not a lot of momentum, status quo. Stagnancy means there is no forward movement, no growth. Change is hard. No one likes change, but change has the potential to propel you forward into new spaces that speak of new life, new opportunities.
The reason I mention all this is because every person you meet has the potential to be a catalyst for change in your life. They can help you become a better person because that’s just how they are. They can help you to grow because the relationship is such a challenge and the constant struggle in this space moves you to grow stronger in your inner self. We can choose how we allow ourselves to be impacted by others – positively or negatively.
With the people you encounter today, be it loved ones, a random shopper in the same aisle as you, your co-worker, someone who sends you a message on Facebook…remember that you have the ability to reach out to them and to somehow be a force for good in the other person’s life. You were meant to encounter each other today. You never know how a kind word or smile can make a difference, forge a lifelong friendship, change the trajectory of one’s life. And this in of itself is you changing. We change each other. Be the change.