The life of Sister Mary Cordis, aka Margarita, as a contemplative nun is a witnessing to the possibility of alternative lifestyles other than the all too obvious choices presented as desirable by the world. Her choice of a life of poverty, chastity and obedience has been made out of deep love and in trusting faith.
The world glorifies wealth and power. Greed and self-seeking ambition are acceptable norms of behavior in the quest for riches. Poverty is a curse to be avoided. At best, it is a social malady that begs for a solution. Can I live without any care for riches or material possessions? What kind of life would be in store for me if I had nothing to my name? Is it possible to have a happy and meaningful life even if I do not know where my next meal would be coming from? The life of poverty that Sr. Mary Cordis has chosen says it is possible.
The world glamorizes pleasure and fame. Hedonism and endless leisure are portrayed as the end and meaning in most people’s lives. Self-denial and sacrifices are seen as ridiculous practices. Is it possible in today’s environment to get away from the blandishments of an easy and pleasure-seeking lifestyle? Can I live without the eye candy and the ear candy that give so much pleasure to my senses? Can I even imagine a life without sex? The life of chastity that Sr. Mary Cordis has chosen says it is possible.
The world, in its quest for wealth and pleasure, extols competitiveness and aggressiveness. The meek and the humble end up being doormats. And those who try to be good and do good are seen as wimps and pussies. Can I really accept someone else making decisions for me and for me just to follow? Can I sacrifice what I consider good for myself just to be able to give and share to others? Can I imagine giving up my capacity to choose to another person in humility and obedience? The life of obedience that Sr. Mary Cordis has chosen says it is possible.
St. Ignatius, whose feast it is today, was willing to give up and surrender “my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess” and prayed to God instead, “Give me only your love and your grace. With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask.”
“Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.” says the LORD.
“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,
“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old.”
When Jesus finished these parables, he left that place.