Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Nun in a barn gave a bishop to the Church

*This story was told to me a few weeks ago. I was so moved by the profound nature of God's movement in our lives. Your daily work is so important and contributes greatly to the Kingdom of God. As humans, we think so small. We must think LARGE and MANY. This single act of self-denial and work of love united to Christ could be responsible for tens of thousands of souls. Can you even imagine? A simple nun in a barn gave a bishop to the Church. She didn't care for the work in the barn. In fact, she very much disliked it. She united her work to Christ and look what it did! I am certain you will love this story. God used Bishop Ketteler's priesthood to bring many souls to Christ.  Only a very small handful knew that behind his holy priesthood was a lowly nun offering her barn work for some unknown soul.  Do not waste your work!

My Priesthood and a Stranger
William Emmanuel Ketteler (1811-1877)
Each of us owes gratitude for our lives and our vocations to the prayers and sacrifices of others. One of the leading figures of the German episcopacy of the 19th century, and among the founders of Catholic sociology, Bishop Ketteler owed his gratitude to a simple nun, the least and poorest lay sister of her convent.
   In 1869, a German diocesan bishop was sitting together with his guest, Bishop Ketteler from Mainz. During the course of their conversation, the diocesan bishop brought up his guest's extremely blessed apostolate.  Bishop Ketteler explained to his host, "I owe thanks for everything that I have accomplished with God's help, to the prayer and sacrifice of someone I do not even know. I can only say that I know somebody has offered his or her whole life to our loving God for me, and I have this sacrifice to thank that I even became a priest."
   He continued, "Originally, I wasn't planning on becoming a priest. I had already finished my law degree and thought only about finding an important place in the world to begin acquiring honour, prestige and wealth. An extraordinary experience held me back and directed my life down a different path.
   "One evening I was alone in my room, considering my future plans of fame and fortune, when something happened which I cannot explain. Was I awake or asleep? Did I really see it or was it just a dream? One thing I do know, it brought about a change in my life. I saw Jesus very clearly and distinctly standing over me in a radiant cloud, showing me his Sacred Heart. A nun was kneeling before Him, her hands raised up in prayer. From His mouth, I heard the words, 'She prays unremittingly for you!'
   "I distinctly saw the appearance of the sister, and her traits made such an impression on me that she has remained in my memory to this day. She seemed to be quite an ordinary lay sister. Her clothing was very poor and rough. Her hands were red and calloused from hard work. Whatever it was, a dream or not, it was extraordinary. It shook me to the depths of my being so that from that moment on, I decided to consecrate myself to God in the service of the priesthood.
   "I withdrew to a monastery for a retreat, and I talked about everything with my confessor. Then, at the age of 30, I began studying theology. You know the rest of the story. So, if you think that I have done something admirable, now you know who really deserves the credit—a religious sister who prayed for me, maybe without even knowing who I was. I am convinced, I was prayed for and I will continue to be prayed for in secret and that without these prayers, I could never have reached the goal that God has destined for me."
   "Do you have any idea of the whereabouts or the identity of who has prayed for you?" asked the diocesan bishop.
   "No, I can only ask God each day that, while she is still on earth, he bless and repay her a thousand-fold for what she has done for me."
The sister in the barn
   The next day, Bishop Ketteler visited a convent of sisters in a nearby city and celebrated Holy Mass in their chapel. He was distributing Holy Communion to the last row of sisters when one of them suddenly caught his eye. His face grew pale, and he stood there, motionless. Finally regaining his composure, he gave Holy Communion to the sister who was kneeling in recollection unaware of his hesitation. He then concluded the liturgy.
   The bishop who had invited him the previous day came and joined him at the convent for breakfast. When they had finished, Bishop Ketteler asked the Mother Superior to present to him all the sisters in the house. Before long she had gathered all the sisters together, and both bishops went to meet them. Bishop Ketteler greeted them, but it was apparent that he did not find the one he was looking for.
   He quietly asked the Mother Superior, "Are all the sisters really here?"
   She looked over the group of sisters and then said, "Your Excellency, I called them all, but, in fact, one of them is not here."
   "Why didn't she come?"
   "She works in the barn," answered the superior, "and in such a commendable way that, in her enthusiasm, she sometimes forgets other things."
   "I would like to see that sister," requested the Bishop.
   A little while later, the sister who had been summoned stepped into the room. Again Bishop Ketteler turned pale, and after a few words to all the sisters, he asked if he could be alone with the sister who had just come in.
   "Do you know me?" he asked her.
   "I have never seen Your Excellency before."
   "Have you ever prayed for me or offered up a good deed for me?" he wanted to know.
   "I do not recall that I have ever heard of Your Excellency."
   The Bishop was silent for a few moments and then he asked, "Do you have a particular devotion that you like?"
   "The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus," was the response.
   "You have, it seems, the most difficult task in the convent," he continued.
   "Oh no, Your Excellency" the sister countered, "but I cannot lie, it is unpleasant for me."
   "And what do you do when you have such temptations against your work?"
   "For things that cost me greatly, I grew accustomed to facing them with joy and enthusiasm out of love for God, and then I offer them up for one soul on earth. To whom God chooses to be gracious as a result, I have left completely up to him and I do not want to know. I also offer up my time of Eucharistic adoration every evening from 8 to 9 for this intention."
   "Where did you get the idea to offer up all your merits for someone totally unknown to you?"
   "I learned it while I was still out in the world," she replied. "At school our teacher, the parish priest, taught us how we can pray and offer our merits for our relatives. Besides that, he said that we should pray much for those who are in danger of being lost. Since only God knows who really needs prayer, it is best to put your merits at the disposition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus trusting in his wisdom and omnipotence. That is what I have done," she concluded, "and I always believed that God would find the right soul."
Day of birth and day of conversion
   "How old are you?" Ketteler asked.
   "Thirty-three, Your Excellency," she answered.
   The Bishop paused a moment. Then he asked her, "When were you born?" The sister stated her day of birth. The Bishop gasped; her birthday was the day of his conversion! Back then he saw her exactly as she was before him now. "And have you any idea whether your prayers and sacrifices have been successful?" he asked her further.
   "No, Your Excellency."
   "Don't you want to know?"
   "Our dear God knows when something good happens, and that is enough," was the simple answer.
   The Bishop was shaken. "So continue this work in the name of the Lord," he said. The sister knelt down immediately at his feet and asked for his blessing. The Bishop solemnly raised his hands and said with great emotion, "With the power entrusted to me as a bishop, I bless your soul, I bless your hands and their work, I bless your prayers and sacrifices, your self-renunciation and your obedience. I bless especially your final hour and ask God to assist you with all his consolation."
   "Amen," the sister answered calmly, then stood up and left.

A teaching for life
   The Bishop, profoundly moved, stepped over to the window in order to compose himself. Some time later, he said good-bye to the Mother Superior and returned to the apartment of his bishop friend. He confided to him, "Now I found the one I have to thank for my vocation. It is the lowest and poorest lay sister of that convent. I cannot thank God enough for his mercy because this sister has prayed for me for almost 20 years. On the day she first saw the light of the world, God worked my conversion accepting in advance her future prayers and works.
   "What a lesson and a reminder for me! Should I become tempted to vanity by a certain amount of success or by my good works, then I can affirm in truth: You have the prayer and sacrifice of a poor maid in a convent stall to thank. And when a small and lowly task appears of little value to me, then I will also remember the fact: what this maid does in humble obedience to God, making a sacrifice by overcoming herself, is so valuable before the Lord Our God that her merits have given rise to a bishop for the Church."
 

38 comments :

  1. What a glorious story. Dear Lindsay, I just want to thank you for your calm and joyful wisdom. I write to you from Poland, maybe you'll find it interesting how far your good words spread :) My name is Marcelina, I am a mother of five born children and we are expecting our sixth in June. It is very important to me - just knowing we are all the same, we struggle with the same problems and we experience the same blessings. May God bless you. I am so glad to read a note after such a long pause.

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  2. Oh I love this! Thank you for sharing such an amazing story ❤

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  3. Wow. Just wow.

    Also, I wanted to thank you for a post that is nearly 8 years old now. "My plan, His plan" - it resurrected itself on social media a couple weeks ago and I've shared it all over the place because it has been so life-giving. Thank you for your apostolate of the written word.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing this very moving story. The trust and faith of that nun is inspiring -- you are right, we should think BIG!!

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  6. What a lovely story. Welcome back - you have been missed.

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. As a mother I always struggle with thinking, I do nothing outside the home for others. This made me realize all I do as a mother inside the home can be given for another! Thank you! I needed to read this so bad.

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  11. Thinking about you and your family so much, Lindsay, and wondering how the pregnancy is going! �� (or maybe baby is already here!?) Hope you all are doing well! God bless you all ��

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  20. شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
     شركة نقل عفش بالدمام والخبر  بفك العفش حيث يقوم نجارون مدربون على مستوي عالي ومتقدم بفك العفش بطريقة صحيحة. شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
    الحرص الشديد في التعامل مع قطع العفش وخاصة القطع غالية الثمن أو القطع الحساسة وتقوم شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام والخبر العمالة بترقيم قطع الأثاث التي تتكون من عدة قطع كالدواليب مثلا فان بعض الدواليب يكون مكون من أكثر من قطعة ومن ثم إذا لم يتم ترقيم القطع بعناية سيصعب للغاية تركيبه مرة ثانيه. ارخص شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل

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  21. كن علي ثقة كاملة في شركتنا شركة نقل الأثاث بالدمام لأننا سنوفر لك أسعار رائعة وفريدة من نوعها حيث سعر الرد الواحد لنقل العفش ونقل الاثاث بالمنطقة الشرقية شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل
     شركة نقل عفش بالدمام والخبر  بفك العفش حيث يقوم نجارون مدربون على مستوي عالي ومتقدم بفك العفش بطريقة صحيحة. شركة نقل عفش بالقطيف
    لذا فلا تتردد في الاتصال بنا حيث نعتبر افضل شركة نقل عفش بالدمام و السعودية. شركة نقل عفش بالخبر

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  22. أكد عزيزي الكريم أنك سوف تحظى بأفضل وأقل سعر بالدمام أو خارجها حيث نعد من افضل شركه نقل عفش بالدمام وتأكد أيضا أنك سوف تحظى بأفضل خدمة نقل عفش بالمنطقة الشرقية وجميع أنحاء المملكة العربية السعودية شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
    نقل عفش بالخبر
    شركة نقل عفش فى بالخبر
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام شركة نقل اثاث بالقطيف  شركة توصيل الاثاث والعفش للمنزل إذا لم يكن باستطاعتك توصيل الاثاث والعفش بنفسك لا تقلق يمكننا توصيل الاثاث والعفش من خلال خدمة التوصيل لدينا شركات نقل العفش بالخبر

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  23. شركة نقل اثاث بالقطيف متخصصين بالخدمات المنزلية وما يهمنا هي مصلحة العميل الذى يريد ان يعتمد على أحد شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالقطيف او اى مدينة اخرى متواجدين بها فى نقل اثاث سكنه بكل طمأنينة دون اى قلق من شركة نقل الاثاث لما يحتويه من اثاث غالى وثمين وذكريات جميلة من الدرجة الاول وان يحصل علي افضل الخدمات باقل الاسعار و باعلي جوده ونحن في شركتنا شركة نقل اثاث بالقطيف شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
    شركة نقل عفش بالقطيف
    نقدم لسيادتكم شركة نقل عفش بالخبر حيث تقدم لكم أرقى الخدمات في مجال نقل العفش بالدمام لذلك تصنف من افضل شركات نقل العفش بالدمام شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل
    شركة نقل عفش بالاحساء

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  24. تخلص من جمیع أنواع الحشرات الضارة التي تؤذیك وتؤذي عائلتك واتصل بشركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالقطيف لتحصل على خدمة ممتازة ومعاملة ممتازة، تخلص من الأمراض التي ممكن أن تصیب أفراد عائلتك وتواصل مع شركتنا لتحصل على منزل خالي من الحشرات الضارة التي تؤرق حیاتك وتخرب المنزل، شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالقطيف شركة مكافحة البق بالدمام
    شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام
    هل يشكل بق الفراش ازعاج كبير لك؟ هل تشكل حشرة البق خطورة كبيرة عليك وعلى اسرتك واطفالك!؟ هل تريد التخلص من بق الفراش؟ هل تبحث عن الحلول الممكنة للقضاء على البق وتجنب الاصابة ببق الفراش؟ كل هذة الاسئلة سوف يتم الرد عليها من خلال خبراء افضل شركة مكافحة البق بالدمام وجميع مدن المنطقة الشرقية شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالقطيف
    شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام

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  25. شركه مكافحه الحشرات بالدمام هي افضل الشركات في الحلول الاباديه للقضاء علي الحشرات نهائيا تتميز منتجات شركتنا بالجوده والنتائج الفعاله وسرعه التأثير كما يتميز عملائنا في سرعه الوصول لتأديه مهامهم.تستخدم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام خدمات كثيره خاصه للقضاء علي الحشرات بطريقه اباديه بحيث لا تعود مره اخري شركة مكافحة حشرات بالقطيف
    كما أن افضل شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام متخصصة أيضاً والوزغ والثعابين والأبراص والناموس وغيرها من الحشرات الأخرى المختلف ونحن شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام والخبر وشركة رش مبيدات بالقطيف نظرا لحاجة المواطنين فى هذه المناطق لمثل هذه الخدمات الملحة والضرورية فقد لبينا رغبتهم وفتحنا لنا فروعا فى كل من الدمام والخبر والقطيف والجبيل لنغطى حاجتهم فى مكافحة الحشرات ورش المبيدات مع افضل شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخبر
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام

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  26. لذا لا تتكاسل في إحضار احسن شركة تنظيف كنب بالدمام تكون ذات مصداقية وأمانة في العمل تستخدم المنظفات المستوردة عالية الجودة التي لا تؤثر على صحتك وصحة أسرتك شركة تنظيف كنب بالدمام
    شركة غسيل كنب بالدمام
    تعاني الكثير من السيدات اثناء عملية تنظيف الشقق من شركة تنظيف شقق بالخبر و ذلك لان معظمهم في البداية يحاولون العمل بمفردهم و اتمام عملية التنظيف و الغسيل دون مساعدة ظنا بان ذلك يكون افضل شركة تنظيف شقق بالدمام حيث ان بعض السيدات لا يثقون في الاعتماد علي شركات التنظيف بالقطيف لان كل شركات التنظيف و خدمات تنظيف و النظافة لا تعتبر شركات تنظيف شقق بالدمام شركة تنظيف كنب بالقطيف

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  27. نحن في شركة تنظيف بالدمام نعد الافضل في مجال تنظيف الشقق لاننا نهتم بادق التفاصيل المهمة التي تعطي انطباع جيد لدي عملائنا لهذا فنحن شركة نظافه بالدمام نستخدم أفضل الادوات التي تستخدم في عملية التنظيف العالمية التي تستخدم في افضل الدول العالمية شركة تنظيف مكيفات بالدمام
    تنظيف مكيفات بالدمام
    فى الدمام او فى المنازل السعوديه يوجد مشكله فى تغير لو ن الكنب مما يؤدى اللى الحاجه اللى عمليات غسيل ونظافه للكنب بالدمام الدينا فريق العمل مخصص فى عملية غسيل الكنب ونظافته بالدمام ليس هذا فقط نقوم عملية غسيل لفرش الكنب بالدمام لاشك ان الكنب له عمليات استخدام ولابد ان يكون منظره رائع دائما لهذا شركة غسيل مكيفات بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف مكيفات بالقطيف
    نحن في شركة تنظيف كنب بالدمام نقوم بغسيل و تنظيف الكنب بأنواعه المصنوع من الأقمشة والجلد وتنظيف المجالس الأرضية بجميع أشكالها.. شركة أحباب طيبة للخدمات المنزلية هي من أقدم و افضل شركة تنظيف كنب بالدمام شركة تنظيف مكيفات بالخبر

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  28. شركة تنظيف بالخبر
    شركة تنظيف مجالس بالدمام ، شركة الشامل من افضل شركات تنظيف المجالس بالدمام حيث اننا أفضل شركة في تنظيف المجالس داخل وخارج الدمام  شركة تنظيف كنب بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف كنب بالخبر
    يوجد لدينا أيضا في هذا المجال تنظيف(ستائر – كنب – موكيت – سجاد)، افضل شركة تنظيف كنب بالخبر . شركة تنظيف كنب بالقطيف

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  29. شركة تنظيف خزانات بالقطيف
    تنظيف الخزانات أمر ضروري لإزالة منها الأوساخ والرواسب التي تتواجد بداخلها والتي بإمكانها أن تؤدي إلي ظهور مشاكل صحية وقد تؤثر علي طعم المياه إذا كانت مخصصة للشرب ، قد تظهر الرواسب علي هيئة طبقات رقيقة مثل الطحالب التي تتواجد علي جوانب الخزان شركة تنظيف خزانات بالخبر
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالظهران
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