With great delicacy but also with a holy firmness, Sr. Wendy seeks to lift up her dear friend and challenge her to live in the Love to whom she is so committed. Sr. Wendy pleas with her ("Love, is there nothing consoling anywhere?"), because she was inclined, as we often are, to focus on the dark side of her difficult situation. The good Sister's advice is solid enough: Give the day away in advance to Jesus so that all the hard things may receive His imprint.
Sr. Wendy also addresses the common experience of feeling that we don't speak the same language as others and so are alone or work at cross purposes. While not diminishing the strain of this, Sr. Wendy challenges her friend and us to step out of ourselves, trusting that Christ, the Word, will provide the grace to speak to one another's hearts in pure love and reverence. We must not become a barrier to the communication of either His love or joy.
Your poor suffering letter has just come, but of course I've been very aware of the weight of loneliness and misery that Jesus has laid upon you. But that's it, isn't it? Jesus lays the weight, and Jesus carries it, never mind whether you feel His support or no. You know, and you know too that He chose you very deliberately to do this holy work of His and be his joyful presence in the cold north. My heart aches for you, but my deepest heart rejoices. I know that awakening dread, and still find no better way to cope with it than I did as a child, and that is to give my day away in advance to Jesus. His day now, I specifically renounce anything for me in it. Then everything - sunlight, a smile, a hot drink - is sheer bonus, and all the hard things, being His already by gift, are free to receive His imprint. I know too that dreadful sense of not speaking the same language, but am sure this is not "meant" by Jesus. One of His own names is Word, and if they do not speak my language then, somehow, I must speak theirs. This is often easier in one-to-one encounters, so I hope you can manage to meet, in pure love and reverence . . . and let Jesus break through the communication barrier. How can they receive His joy from you unless they become aware of it? O, my dear, how I pray for this!
Love, is there nothing consoling anywhere?
Sr. Wendy Beckett