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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #49

"'... Soeur Angélique, leave your work in the sacristy and pray here instead of Mère Madeleine. Do not look so scared, my daughter. It will not be for long, and your bereaved soul should know beyond all other souls how to pray for children in danger. Kneel then before the Holy Child and add to your prayers for other children a thanksgiving for the safety of this one.'

"Soeur Angélique wrung her hands and rolled her little black eyes in distress. The lay sisters were not as a rule called upon to pray alone in the chapel. She had no words. None had been taught her to meet this situation, and Reverend Mother, with Marguerite's hand in hers and Mère Madeleine hobbling after, had already left the chapel. But holy obedience was holy obedience, and wiping the perspiration of her distress off her forehead with the back of her hand, she descended to earth like a landslide before the Holy Child and knelt there swaying herself and sighing volubly. So she was found by Mère Agnes fifteen minutes later, swaying and sighing and weeping because all that while -- a good hour, she thought -- no words had come to her; nothing but that dreadful memory of two little boys drowning in a stormy sea. 'Mother of God, but I am a fool!' she ejaculated in exasperation as she went back to her work in the sacristy. But she found, as she bent to her scrubbing, that she had left the pain of that terrible memory behind her in the chapel. Perhaps the Holy Mother had taken it from her and would use it instead of a prayer. The Holy Mother had been a good housewife in her day, and doubtless knew how to make use of all the bits and pieces that came to hand."

-Elizabeth Goudge, Green Dolphin Street (1944), p. 63

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