Greetings dearest Sisters...
Contrary to its normal habits, one Spring a red-shouldered hawk nested in a towering tree next to our home. We delighted daily to get a binocular-look of the fuzzy white heads of the growing babies peeking over the top of the colossal nest, begging for food. Strong winds of a summer storm challenged the durability of the nest one afternoon and to the horror of our young son, who witnessed all, it collapsed. The pint-sized occupants plummeted to the ground. We phoned the local Conservationist for help. Upon his swift arrival, he nestled the four baby birds in a lidded basket and slung it on his side as he mounted the tree with foot gear, ropes and a plan. Once the nest was masterfully rebuilt, he gently placed the young ones in its hollow.
Like for our fine-feathered friends, the storms of life arrive unexpectedly. Assuredly they will come. Assuredly they will visit the priest for whom you pray. Our answer is simple. We swiftly seek help from the One Who is the answer, Jesus Himself. As St. Jane de Chantal reminds, "Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to Him. That is all the doing you have to worry about." While we might face the temptation to mull over situations that arise in the parish or diocese or with the priest himself, we best serve the situation and ourselves, by choosing prayer over the rumination. "Go directly to Jesus without too much fuss," counsels St Peter Julian Eymard.
A consistent testimony from Seven Sisters intercessors is that they find their hearts moving in this inclination: of prayer before rushing to judgements, prayer before trying to fix a situation themselves, prayer to seek the wisdom and peace of the highest sort - from He whose ways and thoughts are higher than ours. What a gift this is! The Saintly Jeanne Jugan, foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, states from experience, "Jesus is waiting for you in the chapel. Go and find Him when your strength and patience are giving out, when you feel lonely and helpless. Say to Him: 'You know well what is happening, my dear Jesus. I have only You. Come to my aid...' And then go your way. And don't worry about knowing how you are going to manage. It is enough to have told our good Lord. He has an excellent memory."
As Seven Sisters we are perfectly posed to do this, as we consistently rest all our cares in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, resigning ourselves into His Hands, His Heart, His Plan. "O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me" (beginning of the Liturgy of the Hours - Psalm 70:1).
That Summer "when the baby birds fell", our family also remembers the day that the birds, having gained strength in their natural abode under the nurturing of their mother, took flight from the nest. In some small way, we sensed we contributed to that happy day. We called upon someone to help that had the right equipment, the right compassion and the right plan. As intercessors for our priests and bishops, let us continually entrust them to the care of their Mother Mary and her Son. May the words of the prophet Isaiah be realized in their lives and ours alike: But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
United in prayer and mission -that our prayers may find the heart of every bishop and priest...
... eternal gratitude continues as you each remember to offer a wee Hail Mary for me every day.... Pray that I will not 'spoil the beautiful work that God has entrusted...' (St Mother Teresa)
St Jeanne Jugan (quoted above) also says, "The Hail Mary will take us to heaven." What about you, are you afraid of heights?! Let's travel together!