Sister Mary Lucy Reynolds was my friend. She was born Dorothy Reynolds in 1932 and became a Poor Clare in 1952. She came to Greenville, SC as part of a mission transplant to the south in 1955.
I met her mother June when I was a student at Bob Jones in 1976, and by that time Sister Mary Lucy was the Abbess of the community. I stayed in touch with her and her mother until her mother died in 2001, and last week Sister Mary Lucy died. I was honored to administer the last rites for her last Saturday, and today con-celebrated her funeral Mass.
She suffered greatly in her life from bad health and many other difficulties. I felt especially close to her today at Mass and felt that I have another friend in heaven; one that is going to work great miracles on earth, and one that I hope will help me on the rest of my own journey here below. I really feel she will help me do great things for God.
On another strand of my life, I decided to read Dante for Lent. So I ordered Anthony Esolen’s translations, but the copy of the Inferno was inferior so I bought another one online and it only just arrived on Friday. So this afternoon after Sr Lucy’s funeral I had some time to read Canto Two. This is where Dante is uncertain of his path in life and is feeling weak and lacking in confidence and courage. That’s how I was feeling too after Sister’s funeral this morning.
Then I read the account of how Beatrice comes to comfort and encourage Dante on his journey. She says, “A gentle Lady in heaven was so moved with pity for that soul whose way is barred, she broke the rigid sentence from above. She called to Lucy, making his request: Your faithful follower now has need of you; I give him over to your loving care” Lucy, the foe of every cruelty, arose and hastened to the place…”
This is one of the miraculous things about reading Dante. Every time I have read the trilogy some connection has been made. There is a fearful symmetry. Things are connected in ways more mysterious than we thought, and sometimes the links are visible, and when they are they only prove to use that such connections are being made every day within the divine economy of salvation.
So now Sister Mary Lucy, rest in peace, and be busy in heaven! “Lucy, the foe of every cruelty, your faithful follower has need of you!”