Sister Ann Marie – Many, and Yet One

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Sister Ann Marie – Many, and Yet One

“How good it is, how pleasant, where the people dwell as one!”  (Psalm 133:1)

 During my evacuation to Texas for Hurricane Katrina, I attended a luncheon held by a local Baptist church for evacuees. Sitting next to a parishioner, I told her that I was sharing a small hotel room with my elderly mother and that I missed my privacy.Living Together in Community  “Oh, honey, there isn’t a house in the entire world big enough for two women to live together in it and get along!” she laughed.

 

 If anything proves that untrue, it is the Benedictine monastic way of life.  The Rule of St. Benedict emphasizes the importance of community in seeking union with God.  Community life is sacramental:  it gives witness to the world of our need for one another;  it shows that people of different backgrounds, temperaments, and perspectives can live together and flourish;  it lifts the eyes of our broken, human hearts up to Trinity’s circle of love.   By striving to live together – many as one – God’s desire that we participate in divine love and life is made real.

 

 During a recent telephone conversation with a woman discerning a vocation to religious life, she struggled with the paradox of living “many as one.”   She mused, “How is it possible to love so many people in such a large community and form relationships with them all?”

 

 “One person at a time.” I answered softly. “You honor the Christ in everyone you meet, and you do it one person at a time.”

Posted in Reflections, Uncategorized

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“Before all, and above all, attention shall be paid to the care of the sick, so that they shall be served as if they were Christ Himself.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict