Sister Mary Catherine Parks, OSsR
She was second oldest in the group. Her age, education, work experience, commitment to Jesus Christ and the contemplative life suited her for the endeavor. None of the sisters realized at the time that, hard on the heels of their adjustment to new surroundings and autonomy as an independent monastery, even greater challenges would come with the call to renewal of religious life following the Second Vatican Council.
Because she entered at an age well into her 30s, Sister Mary Catherine never expected to see the 50th anniversary of her profession of vows. But she arrived at that milestone and was joined in celebration by her sisters and members of her family. Upon her death, four years ago today, her beloved friend in community, Sister Peg Banville, found issues of the Redemptorist publication Spiritus Patris, in which there appeared some of Sister Mary Catherine's spiritual reflections. We have gathered those reflections together and published them in a small book entitled A Pool in a Deep Forest. I share here some excerpts, views into how one contemplative nun experienced moments of the spiritual journey and the graces with which she was most blessed throughout her life.
To surrender self-autonomy and all our agendas to Christ so that he can establish his Kingdom within us is our only hope for inner peace, integration, and fulfillment as a person. The me that is thus fulfilled will then be another Christ. That me is then a shadow of Jesus and a prism of his love; yet it will not be I; it will be Christ living in me.
As I aged I hoped that I would be better. On the contrary, I find my lion, though weaker, still difficult to control. I thank God for his patience with me and pray he will continue to be patient, as I try in my community arena to make my lion and lamb lie down together, side by side, beside Jesus and my sisters. For nothing is impossible for God.