It was a Fourth of July holiday more than a few years ago when my wife, Jo Ann, and I paid our last visit to a priest friend.

He was in the last stages of cancer and in a nursing home, but he never once complained about his plight or pain. He lived up to the advice he often gave others not to question God's will; especially with the ultimate, "Why?"

This bittersweet Independence Day memory brought to mind another long-time friend that Jo Ann and I pray for every day. She has spent more decades than I have lived as a cloistered nun, so she is among the priests and religious whose ministry I pray for.

This vocation prayer might seem a bit unusual since our friend is in a facility where she can get the specialized care she needs as she copes with progressive dementia.

However, the nun's life goal has been to lead a life of quiet prayer. Despite being in a cloistered community, she has touched the lives of countless people by her prayers and, just as importantly, the way she lives in God's love.

There is no doubt that God's love flows from this woman to warm the souls of those who help her maintain her dignity. She may not be able to preach a sermon about love. Our friend does not have to.

In conforming her will to God's will, she is as much an example of what true freedom is as when she lived an active life in the service of God and for the benefit of others.

+++

Inflamed by God's love, our life can warm the souls of others.