Today one of our oldest sisters was buried. Sr. Anna Charles was 99. At her wake last night, like all our wakes we told stories about her life. She entered the Missionary Servants of the most Blessed Trinity in the 1930's because she felt the community was about service. Service to God and to his people. So she served. She taught kids about God, she assisted poor families to get help, she visited homes, helped people get married and just about anything you could do to connect people to the love of God and the Church.
Then she started falling asleep suddenly.
She had narcolepsy. She couldn't stay awake to teach, to visit, to help or to listen. And she could not drive.
She came to our Motherhouse in 1959 and she worked in the kitchen peeling vegatables all day. The sister telling this story said Sr. Anna Charles was always smiling as she worked. She also made rosaries. Perhaps hundreds of thousands of rosaries over her lifetime. We figured her rosaries have gone at least to Europe, the Middle East, South America and of course the U.S. They've been in homes, cars, jails, nursing homes,barracks, garages and churches.
Another gift she gave freely was music. She could play the piano. She needed no sheet music, she just played song after song. She loved hearing and making music.
Sisters talked of Sr. Anna Charles life with God. During her many years at the Motherhouse she spent a great deal of time in the Chapel praying for all the people who sent in prayer requests.
In her last few years of life she was mostly bedridden , dependent on others for everything.
She always was always thrilled when it was time to receive the Blessed Sacrament. Day after day when the Sister bringing the Eucharist to the sick came to her room to ask if she was ready to receive, she would answer oh yes oh my Jesus and try to sit up straight in her bed as she received the Sacrament.
I'm sure she never expected her life as a missionary to be what it turned out to be. But with all she had I think she lived out our call.
By our lives as Missionary Servants we seek first to glorify the Triune God. We
follow in the footsteps of the apostles who, filled with the Holy Spirit, went forth from
the Cenacle to spread everywhere the knowledge and love of Jesus. We live and work
that God's name may be hallowed, that his kingdom come, that his holy will be done
(Mt 6:9-10). Rule of Life #3.
I hope you pray for me Sr. Anna Charles.