Rising to the Occasion
Throughout the Bible and throughout human history, there have always been persons who in a time of crisis or critical need rise to the occasion. Some are famous people and some are people whose names will not be known in the public arena.
Closer to home, I think of our Sisters of Providence history beginning with Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. She did not volunteer to come to America, but in a spirit of obedience, accepted the request from Mother Mary to lead the mission. Without her willingness to accept a difficult assignment, despite her poor health, we would not be here today.
I think of Sister Olympiade Boyer a lot these days. She was a woman of practical skills; a pharmacist, excellent seamstress, baker, cook, and a nurse to the sick. In early 1841, Mother Theodore was so sick, she was left to die by the doctor who gave up all hope for her recovery. It was Sister Olympiade who did not give up; she stayed by her bedside day and night and nursed her back to health. In 1842, when the bank failed with all our money in it, the community was forced to lay off farmworkers. It was Sister Olympiade who took over supervising the farm.
Against All Odds, the history of our mission in China and Taiwan cites how Mother Marie Gratia Luking and our sister missionaries endured wartime crisis after crisis. In each case, they rose to the occasion. They did not give up. They did what they could at that time. They worked together with others, especially in the concentration camp, in order for the mission to survive. When they were forced to move to Taiwan, they faced many more disappointments and setbacks. However, in time the mission in Taiwan not only survived but thrived and is a source of inspiration and influence today. The native Sister Catechists in China, founded by Mother Marie Gratia, still exist today and some minister in Taiwan.
In the midst of the coronavirus, we too are just doing what we can for each other and for the good of humanity. The many restrictions and cooperation really do make a difference, not just for us, but for our country and for the world.
Here at the Woods, our sisters who are able and our lay staff have stepped up to help in many ways with our food service. Some are serving and hosting meals while others help keep the kitchen clean. Our General Officers, our HOME Team, food service staff, and health care personnel are outstanding in their efforts to keep us well. There are countless other hidden ways that sisters and staff are helping out.
I think we will be different when this crisis is over. I believe the kinds of cooperation, interaction, selfless generosity and gratitude shown is creating deeper bonds among us, bringing us closer to our goal of moving from I to we to one.
Let us pray for all in our world who in families and in the public arena perform the many essential services, who at great sacrifice to themselves, are rising to the occasion.