It was not until I was at Maggie’s Place that I truly understood Divine Providence. I had the privilege to be a MissionCorps member at The Magdalene House in 2009, right after the house fire occurred, living in a convent that we affectionately called the “Magvent.” Each day, after Morning and Evening Prayer, we would recite, “Divine Providence can provide, Divine Providence did provide, Divine Providence will provide.” He surely did provide, as donations would come to us from all over, at all hours of the day from the generosity of benefactors and friends. I was amazed to see how God constantly provided for all of our needs. While I was beginning to really trust in God’s providence for us as a community, I was still struggling to trust that He would also provide for me personally as His daughter.
During this time, a scripture passage from the Gospel of Matthew (6:26-27) would often come up in prayer and soon enough, it was written on my heart. In this particular passage, we find Jesus teaching His disciples about worrying. He says, “Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” Slowly, I began to trust in God’s Providence for me. While there were times of weakness and frustration, God used those times to teach me how to authentically love and be present in that moment. Looking back, as my trust grew in the Lord and His plan for my life, I realize now that He was using this time to lead and prepare me for Religious Life.
Today, I am a Religious Sister in my second year of temporary vows with the Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago. I live on the west side of Chicago in a poor, impoverished neighborhood that makes the news every week due to the crime and violence that plague our community. Thanks to my experience at Maggie’s Place, I am able to see the beauty that rises from the ashes in our neighborhood. The resilience of our neighbors amidst their struggles and suffering brings hope and love to our messy world. God’s hand in His plan for my life has always been with me, and I am edified by His love and the patience He has shown me, especially during my time of service at Maggie’s Place, which prepared me for the gift of Religious Life.
By Sister Jaime Mitchell, alum MissionCorps member (2009)
Sister with the Franciscans of the Eucharist Chicago