by Wanda C.
"God," he prayed. "My prayer is that you make me a better person, more willing to do the right thing and not ask for anything for myself."
* * *
"Sister Mary Grace is one of our fine young nuns," said the Mother Superior. "It's so hard these days to find young women with a true vocation."
They watched the sweet-faced if not exactly pretty young woman working with the children in their wheelchairs. She seemed to radiate peace and love and the kids understood and responded with laughter and with effort bent to their lessons.
"I guess I had all of our nuns praying for weeks for just such a person as Sister Mary Grace to show up and take this position," the Mother Superior went on. "Sometimes God does grant prayers in just the way you wanted Him too."
The old priest nodded and smiled. Sister Mary Grace truly was a miracle, just when they needed someone so calm and so willing and so able. And so full of God's love and her own faith in God. He walked away musing quietly to himself.
The young nun had told him sweetly in her latest confession, "I think God chose me especially for my tasks. Is that pride, Father. Should I pray that God take that away? I used to be a very different person before ... before my calling and getting this job with the children is more than a prayer answered, it's all my prayers answered!"
"If you think it's pride, dear, perhaps it is," he had answered. One of the seven deadly sins, he had chosen a mild penance for her and she rejoiced in it and went willingly, eagerly to expiate her sin.
He turned away from contemplating the young nun at her work and made his way carefully to the little priory, the parsonage his parishioners had built for him with their own hands. Forty years a parish priest, he knew he could look forward to retirement in a few years but that would likely mean leaving his comfortable cottage on the church grounds.
Inside, he removed his hat and coat and collar and knelt beside the little table where he did his studying before writing his sermons. "I'll have to confess to envy of the little nun in my own next confession," he told himself.
Making the sign of the cross and bowing his head he prayed as he had prayed for more than fifty years. "God, make me a better person, more willing to do the right thing and not ask for anything for myself."
Copyright 2000, 2002 by Wanda Cunningham. All Rights Reserved.
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