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“God does not abandon those who love.”anita mcardleSister Anita McArdle, SFP

Over the years as a Sister Nurse I have experienced many healings, but none as dramatic as this . . .  when I was serving our beloved Sisters at Mount Alverno Center, I witnessed the healing of many Sisters – and this includes my own healing which occurred many years ago.

In assisting each person during her journey back to God, I was overwhelmed with the peace that filled my heart, and the fear of dying disappeared. I came to witness women who had truly lived the Charism, sacrificed themselves and whose gifts were not always recognized.
 
 The healing I am about to describe is very dramatic but nonetheless illustrates Father Gittins’ statement: “God does not abandon those who love.”

I always believed that our Charism defines who we are as Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, and how we carry it out defines what we are!  Our older Sisters carried out that Charism because they were daughters of Mother Frances.  They touched many lives, and only God knows how many they healed!

I remember with awe one journey that seemed so unusual to me and to the other Sisters in the room.  Sister was semi-comatose and was extremely restless.  During the week prior to her death, we often prayed the evening prayer together with her and members of her family. She was peaceful – her lips moving. This particular day, after the nurses hung an intravenous solution to alleviate her dehydration, she became very irritated and called out “Kill me, kill me.” I asked her what was wrong, but she continued to shout out, “Kill me, kill me.”

I asked Sr. Rose Margaret to pray for her because I felt she was going through a terrible temptation. Sister Rose Margaret prayed, and we prayed with her. Then, quite suddenly, an aura of peace and contentment effused the dying Sister’s face, and she fell into a deep coma. Her journey was almost over and she died peacefully a short time later.

I believe that the deepest part of our Charism is truly defined by St. Francis and Blessed Frances --
and that it is in our relationship with one another.

 

Sister Anita McArdle, SFP