Sister Ann Marie Wainright – Seeing with a New Vision

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Sister Ann Marie Wainright – Seeing with a New Vision

Mountain Ash berries in bnow photo by Sister Ann Marie Wainright

 Now as Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.  They told him,“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”  He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”     (Luke 18:35-38, 40b-41)

 After a recent snowstorm, I went walking in the woods with a fellow sister-in-formation.  At one point my companion wandered off the path and crept underneath the heavy-laden branches of an evergreen tree.  I waited a moment, and when she did not emerge, I carefully joined her under the branches.“I’m probably gonna get dumped on for doing this!”   She grinned at me and looked up.

Under the branches photo by Sister Ann Marie Wainright

I, too, looked up and saw the tree with new eyes.  From underneath the branches, I could see the intricate network of fine needles supporting and upholding the heavy, wet snow.  The strength of tiny needles and tender branches were all that stood between a miniature avalanche and us!I had been looking at the tree in a conventional way – from the path, seeing the beauty of a snow-crowned tree.  In her creativity and awe, my companion looked deeper, and she beheld the tree’s strength and grace from the inside.

Fragile needles holding snow photo by Sister Ann Marie Wainright

Sometimes we get so stuck in our own perspective that we overlook something important or special in what is happening.  The people passing by the blind beggar at the side of the road were so busy watching Jesus that they nearly missed an opportunity to show compassion to him.We can also be too close to a situation to see the larger picture.  When He called the blind beggar over, Jesus revealed the blindness of the crowds who were content to ignore the man.  Seeing things through the eyes of Jesus can help us get “unstuck.”

Community is important to Benedictines because each person is regarded as a Christ-bearer offering transformation.  Differing talents, gifts, and points of view call each of us out of tunnel vision and situational blindness.  We learn to see things as they are and not as we would like them to be.  We come to appreciate hidden blessings, not only because Sisters in Community provide us with a different perspective, but also because they become the bearer of graces.   Through community, Jesus gives us His vision.

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“Listen carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.”
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