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       A funny word

Have you ever noticed that when you are looking for one thing, you often find something that you weren’t looking for in the beginning ? You are looking for your passport and accidently come upon your personal diary from when you were a novice. You enter religious life searching for perfection and you end up discovering your weaknesses and failings, but you also discover the gratuity of salvation. The experience of finding something other than what you are looking for has a fancy name : SERENDIPITY. There are many examples of serendipity in history. Christopher Columbus was looking for the Indies and he discovered North America. Miss Tatin wanted to bake an apple pie but when she baked the apples she absent-mindedly forgot the pastry. In a hurry she put dough on top of the apples and the “tarte tatin” was created. When he came back from holidays, the observant Fleming notices that the germs he was studying have disappeared. They were inadvertently destroyed by mold growth. These “dirty” little particles were actually penicillin. This event marked a revolutionary step in the history of medicine.

Great discoveries often happen by accident and are unintentional… The eye of the believer sees in them an act of grace. Great advancements in life are not always because of our efforts but are a result of grace that takes advantage of our forgetfulness, absent-mindedness, and even our mistakes. “O Happy fault” is what we sang in the Exultet during the Easter Vigil.

Here we are given a way in which we can live abandonment to Providence : search with determination, accepting to find something other than what we hoped for. Isn’t this what the whole of life experience is about ?

Sr. Anne Chapell - Angelica n°35 - May 2017

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