One of my favorite things to do on a Friday evening is rent a Redbox, make some microwave popcorn, and enjoy a good movie in the comfort of my home. Movies have a tendency to teach me valuable life lessons. A DVD I watched recently was “Miracle Season.” The film takes place in 2011 and is based on the inspiring true story of the Iowa City West High School volleyball team after the sudden death of their team’s heart and leader, Caroline Found.
Caroline was loved and respected by many and the team was BLESSED by her presence. Following her death, Caroline’s family and the Iowa City community were BROKEN. Her death shook the community to its core and many struggled to cope with the loss of a special young woman.
In her earthly life, Caroline, nicknamed “Line,” had GIVEN of herself through her leadership on the volleyball court, as well as through her care and compassion for others. As time passed, her community eventually rediscovered the joy of giving of oneself and adopted the motto “Live Like Line.” West High went on to win the state volleyball championship that year.
Woven throughout the movie are real-life experiences of what it truly means to be blessed, broken, and given. Caroline’s story inspired me to discover at a deeper level how our richest blessings can come in the midst of the most painful events. While trials and brokenness can sometimes unravel us, they can also transform us and push us to a deeper life with God than we ever thought possible. And when we are rooted in life with God, then we can joyfully give of ourselves to help those in need.
March 8-14 is designated as National Catholic Sisters Week—a week set aside to shine a light on the spirituality, mission and community building of women religious. In my ministry as Charism Team member with the Dubuque Franciscan Sisters and my involvement with the local Dubuque Area Vocation Association (DAVA), I continue to be amazed at how many women religious have rooted their lives in God and have committed themselves so deeply to the many justice issues in our broken world. Sisters protect the environment, defend the planet, stand with the poor and immigrants, work to end human trafficking, educate children, advocate for and distribute safe water, promote peace and so much more.
In celebration of the many sisters in religious communities who have rooted their lives in God, please join me in saying “thanks.” We are BLESSED by your presence as you witness gospel justice through your good works and ministries in this BROKEN and suffering world. You inspire all of us to GIVE of ourselves to those in need.
Happy National Catholic Sisters Week…now go enjoy a good Redbox movie and see what valuable life lessons God might have store for you!