This is the eleventh year that I’ve come to Our Lady of Grace, sometimes as a participant of Women Touched by Grace, sometimes as an oblate, sometimes as a teacher of a Women Touched by Grace group.
Women Touched by Grace is an Eli Lilly Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Grant for women clergy. I was blessed to be part of the first WTBG group which gathered seven times between 2003 and 2006. As a result of my relationship with the (Benedictine) sisters of Our Lady of Grace Monastery (with whom we shared worship, prayer, and play), I became an oblate of the monastery which has brought me back to monastery at least once every year. The bonus has been that I have been asked to return to facilitate Women Touched by Grace sessions for the second, and now the third group.
I was scheduled to leave Houston early yesterday morning, but when I got to the airport they were looking for volunteers to fly out on the afternoon flight (the flight to Indy the night before had been cancelled, and there were a slew of people yearning to get home). It was one of those rare times when I could actually take a later flight–so for waiting, I got a $500 travel voucher, a first class ticket on the 1 PM flight, and a morning in the first class lounge.
My seat mate on the flight was a young mom who was holding her one year old daughter, just three months older than my grandson Jonas. It made for a bit of adventure, but how nice to be able to be a flight grandma for a couple of hours.
So now I’m at the monastery. Lilacs are blooming. I have a lovely small room in the guest quarters. I’ve walked the labyrinth, prayed the morning office with the sisters, and already had holy rest.