When I began reading For Their Sake I Consecrate Myself, I didn’t expect a Benedictine Nun of Perpetual Adoration to inspire me as a mother who desires to lead her young children to Jesus. However, the Holy Spirit is always at work, bringing God’s children together.
As a child, Sister Bernadette, known as Rozmarynka, was not the picture of docility. She was choleric in temperament—strong-willed, independent, and sometimes prone to anger. Her household was grounded in goodness, but not alive with strong religious culture. Rather, Rozmarynka’s home and family were steeped in practicing beauty—poetry, writing, painting, time in nature. Young Rozmarynka was first drawn to the heart of God through the beauty found around her and through a book of the Gospels that lay open in her home.
The reader walks with Rozmarynka as she grows into Roza and finally Sister Bernadette. As one reads, one apprehends how the Holy Spirit moved with Sister Bernadette, step-by-step. Her story reminds us how the Holy Spirit meets us and moves with us. We are never coerced, but always invited into a loving relationship with God. When we say “yes” and “yes” again, God does beautiful, one of a kind work with, through, and in our lives.
The robust sampling of Sister Bernadette’s letters and artwork help the reader feel as though they know Sister Bernadette. In fact, early on in reading For Their Sake, I lay in bed and found myself asking Sister Bernadette to pray for me, as I would ask a friend.
As Sister Bernadette knew and lived, we are all part of Christ’s Mystical Body. This mystery allowed her sacrifice for the infidelities of priests to be fruitful. This same mystery allows her life to inspire me as a lover of beauty and mother of sometimes choleric children. Our belonging to the same Mystical Body allows me to ask for her prayers and know that she brings them to Jesus, our Head.
Thank you to the monks of Silverstream Priory in Ireland for introducing me to Sister Bernadette and their lovely community!