Yesterday evening I joined several of my sisters around the country for prayer via Zoom. We used a reflection by John O'Donohue, in which, speaking of blessing others, he said Some of the plenitude flows into our hearts from the invisible neighbourhood of loving kindness. With a rush of gratitude I thought of the various neighbourhoods, visible or not, in my life, and of the plenitude of blessing they are for me. And I thought, too, of another online community: the #NunsofTwitter, and our ever-widening circles of interaction.
I wrote about this particular community, and its fun, friendship and sharing a few weeks ago. We had started taking it in turns to share our vocation stories - several tweets per day over the course of a week - and I was preparing to take my turn, beginning with a trailer on Valentine's Day (very appropriate for a Sacred Heart!). And then on the next day I began to tell my story.
Thanks to the Thread Reader App you can see my story as a single thread - albeit interspersed with some random adverts at equally random intervals; or, if you prefer, you can see it as it appeared on Twitter. You can also use the #ThisNunsStory hashtag to search for the stories before mine, and #OfGodAndMe for the ones since.
The response to what I shared was quite overwhelming: from my friends, of course, but also from people who were new to me. There were those who found parallels with their own journeys and searching, or whose comments, questions and insights added depth to mine. Time and again people commented on how circuitous their own journeys have also been - though in reality, it is only ever a circuit which brings us back to the One who has been there since forever.
For me it became a week of re-membering and recounting God's amazing, extravagant love and grace, even - especially - in times of confusion and pain. The remembrance has continued in the weeks since then; freshly-surfaced memories at times sparked by a chance image or word. As one person said at the end of my story, May the leaps of joy (and incredulity), the grace and wonder long continue - a blessing to which I can only add a heartfelt Amen... And also with you... In all this there has indeed been a plenitude of blessing, given to provide strength and nourishment for the ongoing, more mundane and at times challenging journey. But it is a journey which I know I continue surrounded by a prayerful, supportive and utterly delightful neighbourhood of loving kindness...