Losing the page

Losing the page

by Sr. Jo Anne Kelly MMM              Ireland           29.05.2023
It was December and we were having a ceremony of thanksgiving for all who did volunteer work in the parish during the year.  A new deacon (the first lay deacon) had just arrived so we were welcoming him too.  Our parish priest began the Mass, and when time for the Gospel came the Deacon got up to read.  He turned the page and turned more pages and eventually he said “I’ve lost my page”.  The page was found and he read beautifully.  Our priest usually prepared his homilies very well.  I don’t know what he had prepared that night but he started his homily with “ I’ve lost my page, we all have times in life when we could say I’ve lost my page.”  He proceeded to give a homily that was both inspiring and encouraging, not just to our deacon, but to all of us.  That kind of homily, I think, can only be given by someone who is open to the Spirit of God.

It reminded me of a time when I didn’t lose just one page but many pages.  I was involved in the religious formation of our young sisters.  I had already done an extra year to allow time for the sister who was taking over from me to finish training.  That time was up, the date was set and she was coming.  Over the years I had collected lots of articles, reams of notes and files of papers that I could look up when I was preparing classes etc.  I was moving to a new assignment on the other side of the country and was not going to carry all that stuff with me.  So gradually I went through all and, as the day of her coming drew nearer, I got rid of most of it.   She had just finished training; she would have her own method, her own notes and would be starting with a new group.

Then there was a car accident and that sister was injured. It was actually a whole year before she was ready to come.  So I had to start over and I had lost all my pages.

There are some things you cannot lose – the ever present love and providence of God and the inspiration of God’s Spirit.
That year brought me again to really pray more before preparing anything and to try to be more open to the Spirit of God whom I know is ever trying to get us to listen.

I have to say I really enjoyed that year and that group.