Yes, I was laughing. I'm actually somewhat ashamed, but I was so relieved that Sister Caprice is all right!
This afternoon I received a phone call from Father T. at the retreat house. He sounded quite amused himself, and said that Sister Caprice had come to his office that morning and that he had asked to call myself and Father on her behalf, although she was going to tell us the real news herself.
While on retreat, he also had seen how quiet Sister Caprice was, and as it turns out, he was once an Associate Pastor at her parish and so was quite familiar with her personality. Thank God for this small world! And she seemed so desolate that he also grew concerned and approached her after Mass yesterday. As she had with us, he asked her if she was all right, said he was happy to see her and would love to have a chat the next day if she'd be willing. She tried to explain that she was on retreat so he exercised a little authority and said that he was placing her under obedience to appear in his office at a particular time. She agreed.
When she arrived, he indeed brought up her normally-cheery personality and asked her if all was well here at the monastery, what had brought her on a silent retreat, and all those things. She kept saying that all was well. He of course brought the conversation 'round to her discernment and what she was learning, and the poor girl burst into tears!
He didn't expect that and eventually she was able to tell him her news. Father T. assured me that her news was really quite wonderful, although clearly she didn't understand what "discernment" was and that it really required a bit more than a silent retreat. So he suggested to her that as she was living at the monastery, she should be talking to Father and I about what was going on so that we could help her discern properly. She had admitted that she hadn't spoken with us and was apparently planning to do so after her retreat. That child was in absolute AGONY and she so could have saved herself all of THAT! Of course, at that point I still had no idea what was going on so Father T. said he'd have Sister Caprice call, and he was sending her home this evening.
Sure enough, the phone rang again, and it was our dear Sister Caprice. She haltingly explained that she would tell us more when she got home, but she'd been so quiet because, while praying in the chapel, she felt that the Lord was calling her to a cloistered community! So she was trying hard to live out what she thought that meant, and she was truly terrified and didn't think she could do it, but wanted to go and "enjoy nature" before she, well, quote/unquote "died".
That girl will be the DEATH of me, I tell you! I told her I looked forward to seeing her smiling face again and that I wanted to hear all about what she was thinking about so we could help her...prepare...for whatever she and Jesus were planning.
And I must say, she sounded a LOT more like the Sister Caprice we all know! Remind me to send a Thank You card to Father T.!
And of course, when I told Father he just ROARED and can't WAIT to hear the rest of this story!
Sister Perpetua, Sister Maxine and Brother Gus...don't you DARE tease her about this! This is ONE thing that is COMPLETELY off limits and I MEAN it!