Monday, January 14, 2008

Missionaries of Charity - St. Louis

Come Holy Spirit!

The Missionaries of Charity. I love them. Some of the most beautiful and joyful women on this earth live in the MC convents. They love God so much and serve Him so well! We were able to spend the morning with them during their Christmas Party for the shut-ins. They have volunteers who help drive the sick and disabled people to their soup kitchen, as well as many lay people who cook the lunch and serve the food. When we arrived, we saw the dining room transformed into a Christmas wonderland: decorations, Christmas trees, colored pictures (from the little children), red and green tablecloths... everything was set up perfectly for their Christmas Party. And as I watched, each seat was filled as the celebration began. These were people who were so sick that if such a party like this didn't happen, they wouldn't leave their poor homes, hospital beds, or wherever they spent their time. The Sisters organize this party for them - to feed them, to love them, and to give them a very special Christmas - one that I know they will never forget. Elizabeth and I performed "Making Room" which was very well received - but that was hardly the highlight of the day! The audience soon became a congregation, as the Sisters prepared the room for Mass. They asked a Priest from the area to come and celebrate Holy Mass with them that day, which made the whole day so special! His homily was an inspirational and passionate plea to them - to give their lives to God, for "there is no secret what God can do." He repeated this chorus over and over, and it was echoed by his congregation. He told them how to forgive and how to cling to God, even in spite of terrible suffering. Physical suffering was the least of what he talked about: the emotional scars from family, relationships, spouses, children. He challenged these people to believe that God could change their lives, and that they could be happy again. There were shouts of "Amen! Alleluia!" from these seemingly sickly people, who began to realize and actually believe that "There is no secret what God can do!" The priest was on fire and he was passing that flame of love and hope on to people who had lost it. The Holy Spirit was moving! It was AMAZING!!! The people were responding, some were crying, others got their hope back. And me? I was so motivated and filled with joy!! He opened our eyes to the power and mercy of God. He told us we could be healed and we could be loved - because we were first loved by Him. He made us see that we could love again - that healing and forgiveness was ours, if we could accept it. It was beautiful. He reminded us that there is no secret what God can do... he brought a life to my heart that I didn't realize needed to be awakened to a much greater faith. It was incredible, and I was so thankful to be a part of that day.

After Mass and receiving the Eucharist and we all received the blessing from Father. The room then filled with Christmas Carols and lots of good food. Santa Claus came to town and each of the people there received a Christmas gift, as well as a plate of food to take home with them. We had so many amazing conversations with them, and talked much of God, and who He is, and who we are. I learned so much. It was beautiful.

This was a life changing event for me. I hope that in the future, my husband and babies will come with me to events like these with the MCs, and we will see God at work in our lives. It was incredible. I would tell everyone - Go! Serve in the soup kitchen! Talk to these people! Learn from the Sisters! Learn from the poor! Love them like Christ loves them! It was beautiful.

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