Blessed Easter greetings during these eight holy days of Easter!
I have a nice romance story for you…a “monastery romance” that is! I shall let Sister Rose Marie of the Merciful Heart of Jesus tell you about it…
“What was lost has been found!”
I have an awesome Easter story about how Jesus answered one of my most special prayers today. (Thanks be to God, Alleluia!)
One month ago, I lost my wedding ring (my ring with the Passionist sign on it, which I received on the day of my first profession of vows). I lost it when I was working outside one afternoon. I was devastated and didn’t think I would ever find it again without a miracle. (I had already prayed to God, my Guardian Angel and St. Anthony asking them to help me find it.) Can you imagine what it would be like looking for a tiny silver ring in an area of about 5 acres of lawn and woods!?! That’s what I was doing.
The ring is loose on my finger during cool months of the year. I was wearing a pair of gardening gloves. The ring slipped off of my finger inside the glove without me realizing it. Then sometime when I was outside I took the glove off. (I did not remember where I was when I did). While I was carrying the gloves, the ring fell out of the glove…somewhere.
I did not realize the ring was gone until I came back inside and couldn’t find it. My first thought was to go look inside the glove because it had come off in there before several months ago, and I found it there. However, this time when I looked, I didn’t find it there. My heart sank. At that point, I knew it was lost outside somewhere.
I couldn’t pray very well that night. I kept thinking of the ring, knowing that it was outside somewhere. I wanted to go look for it and find it before the grass grew or it got buried or something. I spent a lot of my spare time over a span of about two weeks walking around looking in the grass, digging through dead leaves and retracing all my steps from the afternoon when I had lost it. Then when I still had not found it at the end of those two weeks, I told myself that I would have to accept that I would probably not find it. I felt really depressed. That ring was a special sign to me of my relationship and my commitment to Jesus and His love for me. It couldn’t have been more precious to me if it were made of diamonds and gold. (For me, the name of Jesus and the sign of His Passion are the diamonds on my wedding ring).
So I knew it was time to tell Mother Catherine Marie. She was very understanding and told me that Jesus also understood. A couple weeks later (a few days ago) she told me, “Jesus knows where your ring is. Ask Him by the love He bears you to show you where it is.” I felt a little like Peter being told to “go out into deep waters and lower my nets for a catch” after working “all night” and catching nothing. However, I took this as an invitation from Jesus to keep looking. And I immediately pleaded with Jesus in my heart, “Jesus, for the sake of Your love for Your bride, please show me where it is!”
This afternoon, I decided to go outside and look again. I had planned on writing Easter letters in order to get them sent on time. But I put this aside in order to go out to search again, wondering if perhaps I would be sacrificing my time once again without anything to show for it.
This time, I decided to go out and look for the ring in a pile of dirt where I had been filling in a hole in the ground on the afternoon that I lost it. After about ten minutes of combing through the dirt with a shovel, all of a sudden these words came into my mind, like someone had said them to me (even through I didn’t hear anything): “Go look by the barn again.” The words were so clear in my mind, and I immediately thought of my Guardian Angel and felt like it was a message from him. So I said to myself, “Okay.” And I left the dirt to go look by the barn again. Because of how clear those words had been in my mind, I felt a new sense of hope. Even so, I don’t know if I really ‘expected’ to find my ring. I had already combed through the leaves by the barn about three or four times, and I had not found anything.
“the barn” in the dead of winter
By the way, the reason why I had spent so much time looking there before was because I vaguely remembered that when I was working over there on the afternoon that I lost the ring I took my gloves off for a little bit. I also remembered (at one point) hearing a clinking sound (like a screw or washer hitting the ground). When I looked to see what it was, I did not see anything. My mind made no connection between the ring, my gloves, and the clinking sound at the time, so I went on with my work.
After I had realized later that I had lost my ring I wondered if the clinking sound could have been the ring falling and hitting the dirt (which was solid and hard enough in that place to make a clinking sound). Like I said, I dug through all of the dead leaves there and scraped the ground several different times, and I had found nothing.
So here I was again by the barn, right on the edge of the woods in the cloister. I got my shovel and started to scrape again in the few bits of leaves left over in between the concrete base of the building and the dirt. I got half way down the length of the barn. Then… all of a sudden, as I was scraping out the leaves and tossing them aside I heard it: a light “clink.” (!)
I froze and turned to where I had let the leaves drop out of the shovel. I looked on the ground. I saw nothing shiny like a silver ring should look. I began to scrape the shovel over the ground right where I had heard the ‘clink.’ I heard several ‘clinks’ as the shovel hit little rocks on the ground. I thought to myself, “It must have only been a rock.” But I kept looking there anyway. I turned my gaze a little to the left to look on the ground. Then I saw it! There it was—a Passion ring, barely visible there on top of the dirt! (Because the woods were so shady, there was no bright light to make the silver shine.)
I just looked at it there for a few moments hardly able to believe my eyes. My heart must have skipped a beat, and by breath had caught in my surprise. I bent down and picked it up, still amazed that I had actually found it. Then I thought of the prayer I had prayed earlier in the morning: “Jesus, for the sake of Your love for Your bride, please show me where it is!” I knelt down with tears in my eyes, kissed the ring and just began saying over and over again, “Thank You so much, Jesus! Thank You!” It was a little after 3 o’clock (the hour of Divine Mercy)!
I just knelt there in the trees by the barn for a little bit overcome with joy and gratitude, knowing that it was no coincidence that I had found it again, on that day, in that precise moment. I knew that Jesus had heard my prayer and had answered it “for the sake of His love for me as His bride.” And I knew that He wanted me to know that it was because He loves me as His bride that He showed me where it was. My heart was so happy!
Isn’t that an awesome Easter story? Jesus let me find the ring just in time for the Holy Triduum and Easter. If it had been just a day later, I would not have been able to go out and look for it because I would not have had time. I had my wedding ring for Easter this year. And every time I look at it on my finger now I think even more of how much Jesus loves me and of how thankful I am for such a special sign of His love. Truly, nothing is impossible for God!