The life death of Sr. Mary Magdalene a 97 year old Nun
(In her own words)
(this a written as a response to a post from this site
My birth name was Ruth and I was born on the 1st of January 1918 and died on the 25th of March 2015. Though I was born on a day that promised new beginnings, sad to say that was not true for me. I really did not have a childhood for I was abandoned at birth in a dumpster in back of the apartment building that my mother lived in. Back then there was no way to find out who my mother really was, so I was taken in by the state. All I remember was the orphanage that took me in. The people who took care of me did their best, but it was a rough environment. There were so many of us and the staff were so overworked that none of us were able to get much attention.
When I was seven I was adopted by what seemed to be a nice family. However when I got to the home I found out otherwise but it did not surprise me. All I knew was neglect, though in the orphanage the neglect was benign, in my new home it was far from that. I was more or less a slave to the family and the father and teenage son sexually abused me on a regular basis until I was 16 when I ran away from home. Living on the street was better than living where I was at. In 19 34 things were rough it was the depression.
Since I was a beautiful young woman I was taken in by people who gave me all that I ever wanted. A nice place to live, food and good clothing, though not without some sort of cost to me, there is always someone to pay. The nice man at first turned out to be a pimp and since I was so used to being used sexually it was not that difficult for me to adapt to that kind of life. Though I say that with a certain reservation; for soon after I started taking drugs to dull the pain of my life, I believed that I was a worthless commodity.
After a few years, when I was about 25 and used up, I was thrown out on the street. I started using drugs big time then and sold my body to get by. I never experienced love, or met anyone that I could trust….for me a young woman that was simple reality.
When I was 27 I almost died of an overdose. I was found by the police and taken to the hospital. It was a Catholic hospital and they showed great concern for me and I stayed there for a month. That was how sick I was. While there I noticed that the nuns and the nurses who worked there were filled with joy and had a trait I never experienced before, they had compassion and what I guess at the time was what was called love. One of the nuns shared her faith in Jesus Christ with me and though I rejected much of what she told me, her love and joy as well as the gentle way that she presented her faith n Christ Jesus with me did plant a seed.
Slowly over the next two years I got my life together for the first time. I was very distrustful of everyone but my heart started to open up to the possibility that there might be more to life than simply struggling with myself and others. My heart felt dead and my chest always felt tight and guarded.
When I was 30 years old, I volunteered on weekends at the hospital that took cared for me at the time when I almost died from my overdose of drugs, when I was a working girl. I found great joy in helping others; it got me outside of myself. I found that I was good working with people who had my kind of background. I started going to mass with the Sisters and learned of the importance of Eucharist for them. I listened to the scripture readings and over time found myself going to the church to sit in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and simply be there. Over time I felt a glimmer of hope in my heart and slowly learned to love Jesus. In the end, to make this short, I wanted to become a Nun and help and serve others.
So over the years as a Nun, they sent me to the roughest places on earth to take care of those who like me had experiences of sexual abuse and different types of addictions to deal with the pain. I was amazed at the love I had for those I took care of. I did not know where it was coming from really, since even then, I was still distrustful of others and yes, I struggled with this trust with Jesus Christ, though I loved Him and spent time with him everyday in prayer and adoration. Even though I felt healing in the Eucharist, there was still a barrier that I could not get through over or under. I often talked to the Lord about this, but I never felt heard, yet I continued on my journey of faith. When I would talk to a priest, he encouraged me and told me that Jesus walks with me, uses me in helping his wounded children and to simply move forward in faith, even if I felt trust was lacking. It was good advice.
On the day I died at the age of 97, I was not feeling well and knew my time was very near. I was afraid to meet my maker for I still felt soiled and unworthy and still had not really experienced true love. I knew that it was my own doing, even if I could not over come it. For I was surrounded by the love of those I took care of and my religious community.
So on the night of my death I went into the chapel and prayed. I told the Lord that I knew that death was very close (though I did not understand how close) and I was afraid and that I was sorry that I could not experience his love, that I blocked it out because of my lack of trust. Then I went to bed. I was exhausted and short of breathe.
I never dream, or I have never remembered my dreams. Perhaps it was because I was afraid of them. When young I did dream a few times but they were dreams filled with violence, fear and self loathing. So I guess for my own protection I repressed them.
Not this night. I found myself dreaming and knew it was a dream. I was outside of a room and the door was closed. The area I was in was dark and cold and from under the door there flowed a bright warm light. I knew who was behind the door and I was so afraid, all of my fear came up in waves, I felt like I was drowning. I fell to my knees and wept shaking in terror of what I will find behind the door. I still did not understand the love that Christ Jesus had for me. So I got up and went to the door and opened it.
I entered and sitting at a chair was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. He was strong, majestic, filled with light and I was afraid to look up at him. Then gently he said: “Ruth, please look at me my child”. Still trembling I look up. When I saw Jesus, I totally lost it and fell prostrate before my Lord. My heart that was so guarded suddenly burst open and all the pain and sorrow and abuse I experienced poured out, I saw it all. I saw all the pain I also poured out on others before my conversion. I was not spared from any of it, I felt it all. Then my rage at God came out in full force and I screamed it out before my dear Lord, who came over and picked my up and help me tightly and tenderly at the same time. He was weeping with me and this is what he said:
“My beloved child, I was always with you. I never left you. In your pain as a child, when you felt abandoned, I was with you. Each human is unique, each has a different name, and so with each their journey is not like any others. So I accompanied you and slowly through my love drew you close to me. Through all the events in your life I have drawn out for the greater good for your soul, evil never has the last word. For all things come out for the good for those who love me, and you have loved me deeply child, even as you struggled with trust. Your struggle with trust was the thorn in your side that kept you seeking me. For even when you thought you did not trust, you really did for you kept on your path in serving and loving others. The love you have for others was mine my child. Your heart became my heart, your hands my hands, your healing words were me speaking to my beloved children that I sent to you over the years. Your prayers were the prompting of the Holy Spirit, your groans was the Spirit groaning within you.”
I could not move after these words and for the first time I allowed fully the love of Jesus Christ into my heart. Though I knew it was always there. Then Jesus smiled at me and gave me a stone with my name on it. I could not believe what my name was and I cannot tell you, but it is something beyond anything I could hope or dream of. Then Jesus said, “We will now walk through another door my child and you will continue to work as you have worked on earth, but this time you will be deeper in and higher up, for now you truly have put on the Mind-Of-Christ.
So now the love of Christ Jesus propels me to continue my work with Him so as to bring all into the kingdom, for it is all grace, mercy and compassion. No one on earth can understand it, I did not, yet now I do, though my knowledge continually grows, it is an eternal journey.