There was a special kind of silence around the convent that Sunday in Boston, and not just because a thick blanket of snow was muffling any noise. It was the day of our monthly retreat. The snow just meant it was a great day to stay inside and peacefully reflect (perhaps with a nice mug of hot cocoa!).
Then the lights went out.
Our first clue that something had really gone wrong was that the emergency lights did not go on automatically. Then we realized that the auxiliary power for the elevator had not kicked in, leaving our senior sisters trapped wherever they happened to be. They were effectively cut off from chapel (and from the dining room). Meanwhile, in the kitchen, a countdown began on the contents of the big walk-in refrigerator and freezer: With no back-up power, we stood to lose hundreds of pounds of food. And the computer system behind all of our Catholic bookstores shut down. (Good thing it was a Sunday!)
Suddenly we were facing an enormous and unplanned-for expense.
The mammoth industrial generator had been there on the ground level, working reliably for, well, generations. It chose a snowy New England Sunday when all the sisters were on retreat to go out of service forever. Thankfully, none of our infirm sisters are oxygen-dependent (the generator is also connected to the infirmary oxygen system). A huge knot fastened itself around all the plans we had for our mission, and none of us knew how to untie it.
We are not alone in having a knot we can't untie by ourselves. Every day we get prayer requests from all over the world. Many of them are heartbreaking petitions concerning sick loved ones, marriage and family problems, unemployment, addiction, loss of faith... We don't get to choose the “knots” in our life. Our “knot” is relatively easy to untie. Yes, we need a lot of money to replace the generator (and we are grateful for your help in this regard), and yes, the health and safety of our sisters means that this is not an option, but this is only a material concern.
Let's do this together!
We decided to take Pope Francis' advice and turn to Mary, the “Undoer of Knots” with this knotty problem of ours. Join us live in our novena, and we can pray together over all the knots that complicate our lives. Don't worry if you've never prayed a novena before: we will provide you with the prayers, and you can join us here twice a day (at noon and 8 p.m., Eastern Time) to pray the novena with us.