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Journey into Holy Mystery

This time of year our thoughts turn to a journey that ended and yet began in our beloved Woods so many years ago. We remember women of admirable courage: astonishing, really, what it must have taken for Mother Theodore and her companions to leave their well-loved land –for all they knew they would never see their home or loved ones again in their lifetimes. But that sacrifice perhaps would not have been so daunting had they known something of their destination. Just think what a mystery that must have been to them – beyond imagination: a world with language, customs, and natural surroundings all new; all challenging every last ounce of their strength.

Some of our Mother’s companions were already well known and dear to her at the beginning of her journey, a few were new to her. Surely they all supported one another in their fearsome journey into the unknown. Where did they find that capacity? Mother Theodore’s unstinted love for them and her wonderful sense of humor sustained them and bolstered their faith in God. She knew that if they were to lean with all their weight upon Providence they would find themselves well-supported.

How do we proceed to this unseen place? Just as Mother Theodore did, we live our daily lives, doing all the small things that add up to love, mercy and justice.

We associates are also on a Providence Journey into the unknown. We don’t have to leave family and home or travel to a totally foreign land, learn a new language and live in a society so very different from our comfort zone. Yet our destination is unknown to us. Where exactly are we going by committing to this new relationship with the Providence community? Perhaps we have some fear or trepidation about our capacity to follow this path to a destination we can’t quite see. How do we proceed to this unseen place? Just as Mother Theodore did, we live our daily lives, doing all the small things that add up to love, mercy and justice; and we do all this for the love of God, the Holy Mystery that is our destination.

We are women and men embraced by and embracing this community rooted in these Woods where our Mother and her companions planted their faith in a Providence that never fails. We cannot see Mother Theodore, of course, but her presence, her certainty in Providence and her example of how to be Providence in this world, these things are palpable on this holy ground and in the community she founded. So this is our destination: Providence; and we walk determined, step by step, with companions known and new, together in our journey into Holy Mystery.

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Jeannie Smith

Jeannie Smith

Jeannie has been a Providence Associate since 2007. She lives in Solana Beach, California with her husband George Schneider. Jeannie is retired and volunteers teaching art with Alzheimer's patients, as a docent at Torrey Pines State Reserve, helps run an ESL program and helps deliver food to Catholic Charities distribution centers. She enjoys hiking, painting and reading.

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