For 30 years I was engaged in teaching young people in Catholic schools. Toward the end of that time, I was graced with an awareness of the real presence of Jesus in each of the students before me. What the students perceived in me, often not recognizing it, was the truth of Jesus being given to them. We together were living God’s reality.
For me this is the meaning of being an active contemplative. Christ’s presence is the grace given to me by letting myself be loved by Jesus. St. Angela urged us as Ursulines to make Jesus our one, only treasure and to shelter at the feet of Jesus. Throughout my life, God the Father has deepened my relationship with Jesus within our hearts together.
Now I work in the Ursuline archives of our Central Province. People ask me what I do now, and I tell them that I work with the dead. They find this response humorous, but it is profoundly true. Researchers, relatives and former students of Ursulines ask for information about specific sisters who have died. At times it is difficult to search out the information needed. I ask the sister, living now in total union in the heart of Jesus in the communion of saints, to guide me to what is needed by the one making the request. Amazingly I discover what the inquirer desires. I work in awareness of living in God’s reality.
This is how contemplation empowers my ministry in the archives as it did my ministry in the classroom.