“I made it with lots of L’s in it for your name,” my cousin wrote in a greeting card.
I had just graduated from the University of New Orleans with my Bachelor’s degree and my Texas cousin, who had just taken up quilting, made a beautiful twin-sized quilt for my bed, complete with a pattern of L’s for my first name, Linda.
It was my first, but not my last, experience with prayer quilts.
Later I would encounter it while administering Holy Communion to the parent of a young woman in a coma in a hospital in New Orleans. Her daughter was covered with a beautiful, homemade quilt made by a group of women from a church in Texas. With scapular medals pinned in her hair, pictures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary posted on the wall above her hospital bed, and covered over by a prayer quilt, the young woman was literally covered in prayer…and surviving unbelievable odds.
Since entering my Community in February 2010, I have had the vocations committees from a couple of churches in the Diocese of Duluth praying for me. They stay in touch with me, sending cards and notes during the holidays and at special times. I recently had the chance to visit one of those parishes, and meet the women who had been “covering me in prayer.”
Sister Barbara Higgins and I drove to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Brainerd to attend evening Mass with the Council of Catholic Women, followed by sharing in their potluck supper with them. After being nourished, by the Eucharist and the food but also by companionship and conversation, I shared my vocation story. I talked about the mysterious and wondrous ways God has woven love throughout my life and used it to draw me closer to Him and to religious life. It was a lovely evening for which I was deeply grateful. Their hospitality and attentive listening were yet more gifts from God that “covered me” in graces and prayer.
At the end of the evening, the women of the St. Francis CCW surprised my travel companion and me with a gift of gratitude: homemade prayer quilts made by their Mission Quilting Committee. Yet again, I find myself humbled by the outpouring of graces, knowing I am covered in prayer as I continue my journey of discernment through initial formation as a first-professed Sister.
Thank you, to everyone who has been covering me in prayer throughout my life. Know that your prayers sustain me and bless me.