As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. Psalm 42:1

I remember.

Freshly fallen snow glistened like jewels across the landscape of the monastery grounds. The crisp air and the brilliance of the sun was winters lure that had me stepping out into this new day. It was particularly inviting to me since I had just returned to the monastery after spending my first semester of study amid skyscrapers and city noise. I could not ignore the invitation that brought me home to myself.

I loved the sound of winter crunching beneath my feet. I welcomed the chill of morning kissing my face and leaving its mark. I walked with no particular destination in mind and yet surprised by where I found myself. I had walked into silence … into the monastery woods. I was standing upon a rock and looking at the statue of Mary. Without prompting, my words were spoken for a dear Sister who was at the threshold of death and yet seemingly found it difficult to release herself into this great mystery. “Mary, please mother Coronata into her death”. Tears filled my eyes as I held my gaze on the weathered statue of Mary. Instinctively, I looked a bit to my right and there I was held by the gaze of a deer. I knew in that moment that all would be well for Coronata.