Contemplative nun reflects on prayer amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Sister Nettie Gamble

Special to The Witness

Blessed, broken and given. These words draw us and resonate with something deep in us. In them we see Jesus and our call to follow him, to live in him. This is the pathway of love, and we can even say it is fundamental to being fully human. Superimpose this on the reality of our world this summer. Most of the 7.8 billion people living right now are suffering greatly from the Covid virus, racial discrimination, oppression, poverty, loneliness and isolation, illness of body, mind and soul, loss of hope, and often all of these. How are we being called to reach out and help those around us?

Sister Nettie Gamble is one of the Trappistine nuns who has been praying for the world. (Contributed photo)

As cloistered contemplative nuns, we at Mississippi Abbey have been able to go about our normal daily life with relatively minor changes. We already stay at home and work from home and pray in our own church. Our ministry is prayer and hospitality, so it was very painful to close our guest houses when so many wanted to come and pray with us and find strength to go on serving others.

We have felt very close to all people who are suffering this summer, and do what we can. We pray when you can’t; we hold up the sick, the care-givers, the grieving, the desperate, the lost, and all who give themselves to help. God calls us to be broken and given for you in our hidden life. Being very human, we have to learn to love the hard way – in community, serving each other, being called out of ourselves for the good of another. Only in this way will our love for God deepen, so his love can fill us and flow out into our world. Isn’t this true for all of us? We are all blessed by God’s love, mercy and grace. Being broken and given is a daily and life-long journey of deepening joy and love.

Each month members of the Dubuque Area Vocation Association (DAVA) contribute a column. Sister Nettie Gamble is a member of the Trappistine community of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey in Dubuque.  She has served the community as abbess, treasurer, and currently as prioress.

Feature image: Sisters of the Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey receive the Eucharist in their church on the grounds of the abbey in Dubuque. (Contributed photo)