I said, “Lord, be merciful to me; *
heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
Psalm 41:4

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; *
I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
Psalm 52: 8

At first, I rejected using the two psalms appointed for today. Psalm 41 speaks of one dying and being left alone. But in trusting the Lord, the writer knows his sins have been forgiven. As long as God is there, he is never alone. I recently received a terminal diagnosis and writing on this psalm seemed impossible. It is written so that you may understand that Psalm 41 speaks directly to each and every one of us in any form of death. “Lord be merciful to me, heal me”—but not in the way of medicine, but of sin: the sins I do each day, whether it be a harsh word to my husband or in buying something for myself in order to fill a part of me that feels empty. I am being given an invitation to change the way I view the world, to see how I am being viewed by others and most importantly, how I view myself. Accepting Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis has not been easy and I have found myself in some ways pushing others away. How self-perpetuating the idea that no one would really want me is probably the greatest sin that drives me; and in that, I reject every one including God. But, oh so strangely, our sins are forgiven if we just ask. He so loves us.

“I am like a green olive tree in the house of God” reminds me that my journey is not over but just beginning. If it be God’s will and with some sweat on my brow, I will take the next step towards becoming a professed religious in the house of God through the Anamchara Fellowship—a religious community recognized by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church. If I get my reflections written after my silent retreat and then petition the Abbess to be allowed to enter the Novitiate and she, in turn, along with the committee, accept and agree to my entering this next phase, I will be clothed at the Sunday, March 18th Evensong here at the Cathedral.

I am a newbie to the religious life. I also know that each and every day is a new beginning and it is how I live each day that counts. What does this mean? It means I am looking at life and not death. I am stepping out into the world with God surrounding me and no fear, for he is always with me. We are just one week away from Christmas, the day that our salvation begins. The Incarnate has taken my flesh and blood onto himself and will suffer for me. But I rejoice in the Lord for “I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.” Amen. Amen. Amen!