Today I am giving thanks for the gift of community. On Tuesday the kids asked me where I would be going to Thanksgiving. While my convent is going to the convent down the street for our Thanksgiving dinner, I told the kids that the sisters celebrate all holidays together before doing any personal visiting of family and friends for the holidays. My kids were upset and asked why we couldn't go home for the holidays. I told them that some sisters don't have anywhere to go and we would never leave a sister alone.
They don't know this, but I am one of those sisters who doesn't have anywhere to go for the holidays. I think a lot of people still take for granted that sisters come from wonderful Catholic families full of love and joy. While I guess that seems to be true for the majority, for me it isn't. It makes the holidays very difficult at times. If we didn't celebrate together, I would be alone. My parents are divorced and I don't have a family home to stay in. I depend on community for companionship and that truly Christ-centered family love.
Our visit to the convent down the street for Thanksgiving was so lovely. When we arrived the sisters stopped what they were doing to talk and chat in the community room until dinner was ready. All was being kept warm in the oven when we went together to Chapel for prayers. We got together to "swell the crowd" and we certainly were stuffed in together in Chapel. It was such a nice way to share faith and community. There was a beautiful prayer waiting at our spots in the dining room which we said together. Then the feast began! Laughter, tears, stories, fun, and joy flavored every minute of our delicious meal with one another.
It was also a gift to be with sisters I know well and sisters I've never met before and still feel welcomed and at home. After all, our hearts and minds are one and no matter what we belong together to walk this journey to the Lord. I can't help but think that our little gathering was a small beginning to "Preparing the way for the Lord." as we enter into Advent. Where two or more are gathered in His name, He is there and tonight was a wonderful example to me of that true Presence.
So thank You God for my vocation, my community, my friends, my sisters, my consecration, my vows, and the love you have put into my heart. Amen.