When I was playing in our church’s folk group, we used to travel about the place doing little concerts and we once played at a special day for Our Lady of Cardigan on the West coast of Wales at one of the Catholic churches there. For some reason I had worn my St. Teresa of Calcutta medal around my neck.
During the proceedings, a young woman did a small reading. The young woman was dressed in regular clothing, however while she was reading, I had a striking vision of her wearing the clothing of a Sister, and bearing a radiant, serene smile. I could hear her voice pattering gently on in the background, but couldn’t understand nor later remember any of what she read.
Later on during lunch, I saw the same young woman sitting with some ladies – some of whom were Sisters. I had a sudden impulse to tell her what I had seen; embarrassing as it was to interrupt strangers with what would sound extremely odd. This was not the first time this type of thing had happened to me, and I knew I was being prompted and propelled to pass the message on, though I could not think why it would matter. As I approached her to speak, the other ladies fell silent. I told her what I had seen, and also that I was being prodded to tell her. She looked up shyly, but rewarded me with that same radiant and serene smile I had seen in my mind’s eye.
The older nun sitting next to her beamed in delight. ‘Angela…a message for you!’ The older woman turned to me. ‘She has been making her final decision on whether to join us,’ she said quietly. ‘She was almost decided…and I think you might have just helped her along her way.’ She grasped my hand and I felt the warm peace of Christ within her, flow into me. It was a special moment.
I left them in a mixture of awe, and embarrassment and later guilt as I began to question my actions. Becoming a nun was serious, inspiring yet life-changing step for a young woman. Had I the right to (unwittingly) interfere? Should I have left the words unsaid?
Later that night I shared the story with my husband, who said simply, ‘Why would you have been given that special vision if you weren’t meant to do anything about it?’ His simple logic was a tonic to my unnecessary self-reproach. It wasn’t about me. It never was. It is only about God and what we must do for Him when he asks. I touched the medal still around my neck which incidentally had mysteriously fallen off several times during that day and was reminded of the poem, ‘Do it Anyway’ which were written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India.
Nowdays I try not to question those things too deeply, but to listen to the prompts and do whatever it is I am being asked to do without my own emotions or inhibitions getting in the way. It isn’t our place to question, but to only act in humility so that we might know God’s grace. And should my message fall on deaf ears, or bring reprimand, then I only have to remember those words.