This reflection was written by Sandra Laguerta, a student at Notre Dame, who spent eight weeks with us this summer.
“Your eyes saw all of my actions, they were all of them written in your book; every one of my days was decreed before one of them came into being.” (Psalm 139:16)
I must admit that I hesitantly decided to return to Sacred Heart Residence this summer through the Summer Service Learning Project, a program hosted by the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns and supported by Notre Dame Alumni Clubs around the country. Thinking that I applied too late and may have to find more academic plans to fill the lackadaisical summer weeks, I was perfectly content with being anywhere but Mobile, Alabama. But by Divine Providence, I was to be celebrating the month of the Sacred Heart, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, and many other liturgical feasts at Sacred Heart Residence. Putting my trust in the Divine Will, I found that the Psalmist was right, “every one of my days was decreed before one of them came into being” and it is, reflecting back on my grace-filled summer with the Little Sisters of the Poor, “too wonderful for me, this knowledge, too high, beyond my reach.” (Psalm 139: 6)
There was no greater place the Lord could have led me, to teach me the way of perfection and holiness. Following the humble example of the Little Sisters of the Poor, daily participation in the Church’s sacramental life with the active apostolate of caring for the elderly poor was a great blessing—growing in uniformity with God’s Will and bringing joy to the heart. Truly, the greatest lessons I learned at Sacred Heart this summer were in practicing virtues of charity, patience, and self-sacrifice, among many others. Also to be more observant of the hand of Divine Providence and to simply and joyfully discern God’s Will in everyday tasks, all for the salvation of souls.
In the end, Saint Jeanne Jugan, the Mother Foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, described my summer most appropriately and aptly: “Blessed be God. Thank you, my God. Glory be to God.”
PHOTO: Sandra Laguerta with Sr. Ellen Anne and volunteer Frani Stewart, representing the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Mobile.