Mystery in the Convent
Sister Odilia Korenek
If we pay attention we find that we walk in the midst of mystery each day. A particular one has been intriguing us lately. It is connected to the empty nail on the wall displayed in the picture.
It happened during Easter Week. Pope Francis just got up and walked out – frame, picture and all. No amount of investigation yielded information. Until — Tonio walked in one day: Tonio who comes for a donation, Tonio who plays the organ in the chapel, Tonio who did some painting on a set of Stations of the Cross, an uncompleted gift left by an artist. Tonio, by his own definition, an enigma.
This Easter week, Tonio came needing $23.00 for a doctor’s visit. He showed me his spider bite and waded into a conversation of need. I send him into the chapel to pray for a bit while I thought of how to respond in responsible compassion. My question has become, “What do you really need? A little whisper advised me that this would not be of any use with Tonio. So? I decided to join him in the chapel, pray with him and go from there. “From there” lead to another kind of question. “Tonio, did you take Pope Francis for a walk? ( I pointed to a nail on the wall.) We know he likes to be out there among the poor.” He insisted, “No, I don’t know anything about that.”
I continued, “Well, I was hoping you might have seen or heard something when you were here a few days ago.” He gave it some thought and then waded into another conversation about how he should not be stealing because I’m his friend and now I won’t be his friend any more. He quoted Scripture and verse shoring up his case. I was fascinated and wondered, out loud, where he learned all this Scripture. Then he told me about his struggle with mental health and how St Paul says that we do the things we don’t want to do. (Romans 7:15, etc.) And he doesn’t know how to get this out of himself. (Made a gesture of pulling something out of his heart.) It was clear to me that Scripture helps him to live with himself. I am glad for that.
In the end I gave him some bus money to get to a doctor’s appointment and asked him to be on the lookout for Pope Francis, who would most likely be out among the poor, like Tonio himself! With this promise and a bag of loose change, I bade him farewell.
Now I’m wondering if Pope Francis might not be out there looking for those who are willing to give to San Antonio area non-profits so they can continue their diverse ministries to those in need of support. Psst, Pope Francis, please direct to us those who can give assistance to the children and youth who are nurtured in programs at the Blessed Sacrament Academy campus; i.e. BSA Child Development Center, BSA Parents’ Academy, Por Vida Academy, Jewish Family Service. Thank you for your direction and care. Oh…, the website for donations is www.TheBigGiveSA.org from midnight to midnight on May 6, 2014.
Reminder: Your spot on our chapel wall is being saved.