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Day 3: Blessed


Editor’s Note: On this third day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Sr. Meg Earsley FSPA, who recently completed her formation with FMS and will be serving with the Tertiary Sisters of Saint Francis in Bolivia, shares a reflection on her experience of “blessed leavings” as she said goodbye to the Casa community. 

Oh, only for so short a while you have loaned us to each other, because we take form in your act of drawing us. And we take life in your painting us, and we breathe in your singing us. But only for so short a while have you loaned us to each other. – Aztec Prayer

I can’t help but enter into this Advent with a little touch of sorrow in my heart. For me, this is a time of transition, when something I loved is passing away and something new is forming. While I am spending my last days at the Casa in DC, I know the day is coming when I will have to say goodbye. 

Leaving is always very hard for me. I don’t like to leave all the relationships I have built and the joy of being with others. I am filled with deep emotions, I grieve what will no longer be. My thoughts are distracted as I prepare to go. A very wise sister and spiritual director once told me that crying is an outward manifestation of deep, deep feelings. I dip into that deep well many times.

I imagine what it would be like if there was no actual leaving, and I realize something significant! If my upcoming departure wasn’t imminent, life would continue as it did before. I would not stop to reflect on the beautiful people I have grown close to. I would continue to fill my days with work and activities instead of intentionally taking the time to talk with each person playing games, laughing and loving as I prepare to leave. I might even continue to live in my head and spent a lot less time considering what everyone else was going through. 

I wonder if perhaps this leaving is an invitation for me. What if leaving is a glorious chance to see how beautiful and plentiful my life has become? A time to see the giftedness, of my friends and of my experiences. By knowing that there is leaving, the things I do become more intentional. I slow down. I savor. I drink in all that God has provided.

In pondering this, I realize what a blessing leaving really is. I am suddenly immersed in the care and love that we share. I can’t help but wonder if this leaving is giving me a glimpse of heaven. A present filled with love so intense that it outshines everything else. 

Thank you God for blessed leavings. May I see the beauty and sacredness of this time as you do. 

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Sister Meg Earsley is part of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration located in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She recently professed her first vows and is preparing for a year of mission in Bolivia with the Tertiary Sisters of Saint Francis in Santa Cruz. She is enjoying this time of formation and growth as she participates in the Overseas Lay Mission formation program.