Monday, July 13, 2009

Sisters in Christ

My friend practices Ignatian discernment. Sometimes, I feel like her little sister. Like I'm holding her hand. She's talking. She doesn't know I'm listening, memorizing whole sections of what she says, as we pass through the grove of trees, turn then, and make our way up the worn path. We slip off our shoes at the door and go to our own rooms.

Back to our separate lives.

She doesn't know that I play in my mind all that she said today. And yesterday. And last week.

She's my spiritual sister. My mentor. My dearest friend. She knows these things, though she is too humble to wear any title - except sister-in-Christ.

No we don't live in the same house. Not even in the same state. We have never met. This kinship we feel is a spiritual one. The journey we take together, a metaphorical walk.

I've been having a difficult two days of it. Ever since Mass Saturday evening. She doesn't know what happened, but something arrived in the mail today, and I realize, like once before, the Holy Spirit prompted her. And she put a book in one of those large manilla envelopes. And dropped it in the mail - days ago.

Even before Saturday.

We don't usually send things to each other this way. Only a handful of times in the past. And I wonder how she knows. She says it is because we are under the same Mantle - Our Lady's Mantle.

I'm convinced, after almost six years, that she is right.

How can two women grow so close to one another. How can this simple act of sending emails - hundreds of them, perhaps thousands by now - how is it that we are closer than sisters who share the same blood?

Ah. But we do share the same Blood. We are part of the same Body.

Scranton and St. Louis have become a kind of Twin Cities. With emails going back and forth, like the beating of a heart, the pulse of Blood through the Body. And yet, we have never met.

Never embraced. Never seen one another face-to-face.

How can she know what I need? Days before I need it? Like the hand, that moves to the leg to scratch, even before the brain has finished the thought. Before the command is fully given. Perhaps even before the leg knows it has an itch.

My dearest friend. She knows my soul.

Like an older sister knows the little one walking beside her. And yet, we have never even been in the same room.

Strange. Because it seems like we have been walking through the grove like this for years.

(Stop by the blog on July 16 - to read the miracle of the Immaculate Conception - and how Our Lady brought us together.)
-painting by William Adolphe Bouguereau


1 comment:

  1. Denise,

    If I could write as well as you do, I could have written this post about a dear friend I have too! We've only met twice...once ten years ago and the second time this past January...and yet I feel the same way about her as you do about your friend. My friend was a disciple of Father John Hardon while he was still alive and encouraged me to do the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. It was one of the best things I've ever done! She's my spiritual sister/mentor/support too.

    I'll keep you in my prayers that things get better!