One of our Italian sisters inspired me since before I even entered the community.
Her childlike faith and love for Our Lord became even more radiant and profound as she neared the end of her life. One of the best ways to get her to smile was to say, Sia lodato Gesù Christo—Praised be Jesus Christ! To which she would respond with drama and a twinkle in her eye, Sempre sia lodato—May He always be praised. She made her voice deep and sometimes tucked in her chin, and everyone around smiled with her. We could not help it. Her words, her candor, and the ways her presence underscored the truth she proclaimed lifted everyone around her into the presence of the Lord, even if it was just for that moment.
Sometimes I think Saint John the Baptist was a kid at heart. Yes, he was a prophet and that is a serious thing. Yes, he died a martyr’s death and that is nothing to belittle. He also lived a very ascetical life eating locust and wild honey and wearing camel’s hair. (See Matthew 3:4.) But despite all this, there was something about his reckless love—a love that held nothing back. He was unassuming like a child. John knew the Messiah had come and he told everyone about it. It was not convenient or comfortable, but it was the truth, so John spoke it.
The Second Reading today describes the stature of those who follow the Lord. David is “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22) and John the Baptist “heralded [Jesus’] coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance” (Acts 13:24).
Most of our lives are not loud like the prophets, but though our lives are hidden, God sees us. May we allow Him to make our lives radiate light. May God say of each of us, “She is a woman after my own heart.” May we be heralds of the Good News to everyone we love or meet. May we receive the gift of childlike faith: unpretentious, joyful, radiant.
This image of the Sacred Heart from the 1880s is striking.
Sister Maria Kim Bui is a Daughter of Saint Paul, women religious dedicated to evangelization in and through the media. She is originally from Tempe, AZ, spent most of her fourteen years in religious life in the northeast, some time in Texas, and now was recently asked to serve as the director of marketing and sales at the Sisters' publishing house in Boston. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up and the author of our Blessed Conversations Mystery: Belong found here. Find out more about her here.