Today is both the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Madeleine Sophie's birthday. It is a day I love as I took the habit on this day 70 years ago! In one way, when one looks back over the years, it seems so long ago. So much has happened in my life since then! On the other hand, I can remember so many details of that day. My parents had come from St. Louis to see me; the ceremony at the morning Mass was always the same; we made a grand entrance dressed as brides, then our habits were blessed and our angel received the basket with our habits and white veils and we processed out to have our hair cut and be dressed in our black habits, caps, and veils. Then we returned for the Mass. I know it was very hard for my parents, but I was so grateful that they had come. There was snow on the ground and I was just getting over a bad cold, but we took a few pictures and then my parents went to New York and sent me a huge box of toys from Macy's - pick-up-sticks, jacks, spinning tops, board games, etc. and we all played with the toys on Christmas Day.
I was just 16 when I visited the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe; that, too, seems so recent and at the same time it was so long ago. Old age has the gift of remembering many things vividly even if they were long ago. Maybe that is why we go back in Advent to remember all that Mary and Joseph were doing to prepare for the birth of Jesus.
"Here is one of my favorite quotes from Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ:
"To be a Joy-Bearer and a Joy-Giver says everything: it means that one is faithfully living for God and that nothing else counts; and if one gives joy to others we are doing God's work."