It felt like I’d never left Boston; everything came back so naturally. It was all such a gift – the chance to reunite with friends, to see the city, to witness the blessing of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, to celebrate Sunday Mass at the Convent of Saint Joseph of Nazareth, to hug my favorite little blue nun… and it all came with such peace of heart and mind. All the days emitted a sense of, as Vanauken puts it, “timefulness.” A glimpse of what eternity feels like – no worry of time, no pressure. Just joy and peace.
After the Mass when Mother Olga renewed her vows and the Candidates were blessed, there was a reception where we had the opportunity to see Mother. After many hugs, innumerable photos, and joyous reunions with old friends, the crowds started to dwindle. Someone said to Mother, “Oh Mother, your face must hurt from smiling so much!” And she smiled even bigger and said, “It is never too much for Jesus.”
It was a brief moment, but it stuck with me. Mother’s voice kept ringing in my head, “It is never too much for Jesus.”
During another conversation with the girls – Sarah, Elise and Katie – Sarah mentioned a quote from the book Purity 365: “You will never regret having suffered. But you will regret having suffered so little and suffering that little so poorly.” This quote paired with “It is never too much for Jesus,” feel like the theme of the weekend. Which seems odd since my time in Boston was one of great joy. Why this message of suffering, of endurance?
Because in the midst of my consolation, Jesus reminds me to keep my eyes on Him, the one who suffered for my sake. To follow Him to the Cross means I will suffer. And I’m not good at suffering. I’m the worst of them all – selfish, obsessed with my own comfort and preferences. These things must die in me – and it is a slow and painful process. There are trials ahead that I cannot see – the daily struggles of family life and the hardest, most heart-wrenching experiences. But as Mother Olga reminds me, it’s never too much for Jesus. It’s never too much suffering when He suffered the most. It’s never too much because He is always greater. He is always worth it.
Here is a link to the photos that the photographer took at the Mass and the reception: