Sister Agnes rarely conversed with the other nuns in the convent. On occasions, she talked with them if a certain thing bothered her spiritual life. But, she kept to herself, and in her small cell read many prayers. Some days, she knelt on the stone floor for hours on end. Did she cry while kneeling so long? Never. Not a tear stained her cheek.
Her closest friend, Sister Cecelia, always was curious about Sister Agnes. Although Sister Cecelia felt a very close union with God, Sister Agnes appeared to be even more so.
One day in May, Sister Agnes woke early for Mass. Her fragile body moved carefully from the bed, and she dressed in her black habit. Sister Agnes used to have long locks of chestnut hair, but when she entered, she offered her locks up to God as a sacrifice.
Almost in a mute whisper she said after making the sign of the cross, ” Bless me Father throughout the day. Guard me on my way. ”
She had made that prayer when she was a little girl. She always said it in the morning, as soon as she was interrupted from her slumber.
Sister Agnes hurried through the faintly lighted corridor for the the others were already singing hymns in the chapel.
Oh, I’m late! she yelled in her mind.
Yes, she was indeed. As she quietly burst into the chapel, Sister Cecelia turned to acknowledge her. Then Sister Cecelia returned to her hymn.
Sister Agnes had missed her favorite hymn, “Pie Jesu, ” but there was nothing she could do.
After Mass, she withdrew to her cell again for long hours of devoted prayer.
When supper came around, Mother Superior saw that Sister Agnes did not come.
“Where is Sister Agnes, ” she asked the other nuns.
No one knew. Except Sister Cecelia piped up, “She may be in her room still, Mother.”
“Well go get her then, Sister, ” said Mother Superior.
As soon as Sister Cecelia opened the door to her friend’s cell, she beheld an astonishing sight.
There was Sister Agnes! Her knelt on the floor, and her eyes remained transfixed on heaven. Her cheeks flushed like a ruby red rose of summertime.
She had gone to heaven, that was sure. But how she remained upright was truly a mystery!
Picture: St. Theresa of Lisieux before a crucifix
Author’s Note: Although this picture does not go with the story. I thought it would be a good representation for it.