By: Sr. Maria Josefa
I was sitting on the platform in the St. Therese (3-year-old) classroom of our Carmelite Child Development Center when “Lori” turned to me and asked, “Sister, why do you wear the same clothes every day?” I answered, “Because I’m married to Jesus.” Lori then got a very confused look on her face and asked, “Well then, uh, Sister, do you live at St. Agnes Home or in Heaven?”
Being with the children, it is not unusual to be asked questions about my habit, my veil, and many externals. However, even though Lori’s question was about my habit, and then subsequently about my home, it had a lot of depth to it that reached beyond the mere externals.
I physically live in a convent attached to a building called “St. Agnes Home;” yet, as a Carmelite I am called to live Heaven on Earth. What does this mean? It means to live before the face of God, as a beloved daughter of the Father and a Bride of Christ. It means to unite myself to Him and lead others to Him. It means to seek to save souls for and with Him. It means to undertake the lifelong journey to be transformed into Him.
Lori was prompted to ask her initial question because she did not know the meaning of my habit. However, my response led her to think of the eternal, and I could have truthfully answered, “Yes, I do live in Heaven.”