Tenderness Is The Repose Of Passion
Everyone passes through tough times. Sister
Mary Pia, even if she had been in the convent
for a long time, fell into a serious vocational
crisis. She just could not take it any more
and so she decided to leave. She actually
ran away one night, leaving her religious
habit in front of a statue of our Lady which
the Sisters had at the entrance of the convent.
She went to live in a distant city, incognito.
Her life took a turn to the worse. The greatest
saints can become the worst devils.
God, however, has his own way of tracking
us down. One day she came across a man who
used to frequent the convent in the past.
He did not recognize her. Without making
it too obvious, she managed to bring the
conversation to the topic she was interested
in. "What was the reaction of the Sisters
when Sister Maria Pia left?"
The man was startled. "You must be mistaken",
he said. "Sister Maria Pia never left.
She is a real saint, one of the best nuns
in the convent. A wonderful sense of humour,
friendly, golden heart, very outgoing."
The woman could not believe her ears. She
was Sister Maria Pia - and she had left the
convent. Who then is this Sister Maria Pia?
Who is this woman who replaced her? How is
it that the other Sisters did not notice
She had to get to the bottom of this story.
Pretending to be somebody else, she was soon
knocking at the door of the convent. "May
I speak with Sister Maria Pia?"
When 'Sister Maria Pia' came down to meet
her, this woman realised immediately what
had happened. Our Lady, in front of whom
she had left her habit, took her place! Our
Lady just smiled at her.
"Listen, my daughter. In order to save
your reputation I took your resemblance.
I did my best to replace you. Why don't you
come back now? You have experienced in your
own flesh that life outside the convent did
not make you any happier as you may have
thought. Jesus, your first Love, is still
waiting for you."
Mary's tenderness was too much for Sister
Maria Pia. She felt reborn. She put on back
her habit and tried to walk in the footsteps
that 'the other nun' had traced for her for
fifteen full years… She never looked back.
Probably many have heard or even seen the
famous passion play that takes place in Oberammergau,
Germany. It is a play that involves the entire
village and people from all over the world
come to watch it.
One of the most touching scenes is the one
when Jesus, decides to leave Nazareth to
go and preach the Kingdom of God. It is a
difficult moment for both mother and son.
Jesus asks her, "Mother, how can I repay
you for all the love and care you have showered
on me with so much gracefulness all these
thirty years?" The answer of Mary was
disarming. "My son, when the going is
tough, allow me to come and live it with
This is Mary's only wish for her Son. This
is her only wish that still echoes for her
sons and daughters today, for you and me.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
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