This morning, I ask myself what questions might readers have about the meditation that I wrote over a year ago. My name, perhaps?
Abram’s name was changed to Abraham by God’s decision. I was born with a wonderful name, chosen by my parents who loved me before I was born. I had never considered changing it to become a Protestant nun. In our spiritual formation class, we used various sources, one of which focused on the Gospel of John. In this class, we did an activity about names and name changes. We were each encouraged to consider what aspect of God we would like to radiate to the world, and in which we would like to grow. After significant meditation, I chose Alegría, in English, Joy.
The very first time that we went out of the monastery after that, we stopped at Rosa’s house and told her. She immediately smiled and said, “That’s perfect because you are always smiling.” This is not a word used around here (north coast of Honduras) as a name. The response is almost always, “How pretty.” English speakers are often less enthused.
Another question from readers might be about the joy of saying “yes,” to God. There is no greater joy. And yet, the trials of the past year have been a lot. I have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. COVID-19 haunts Honduras and forced me to stay home for these many months. Part of accepting poverty is living in the poverty of the nation in which I have been called to live. It looks right now as though there will be no immunization for me this year. I am working on accepting that I may spend the rest of my life in quarantine. Jesus never said it would be easy. Jesus said that if you won’t love your neighbor, you won’t be able to love yourself.
Like I said, I’m still working on accepting quarantine until I get to go to Heaven—I’m not there yet and I have bad days like anyone else. In the meantime, I’m doing what I can, trying to raise money to roof the closest public (health department) hospital after the roof was finished off by the hurricanes in November.
Sister Alegría (Joy)