Light before us, light behind us, light under our feet.
Light within us, light over us,
Let all around us be light.
* David Haas
While chanting my morning protection prayer, a gift from liturgical musician David Haas, I was transported back to Monday when I joined with others in celebrating the life of Sister Michele MacMillan, O.P., who transitioned to life beyond last week. Michele exuded a sense of justice that informed her ministry on behalf of vulnerable immigrants. As she was dying, she crafted her own send-off, a liturgy of light, love and humor.
As often happens with me close to the time of dia de los muertos, the Day of the Dead, the veil between worlds has fallen away and I have been entertaining a few spirits who’ve come for respite in my little anchorage. Not surprisingly, I waited for Michele to show up for her celebration of life.
She did not disappoint. Half way through the service I physically felt not only her energy, but the energy of three other sisters recently transitioned. Their palpable joy and light prompted a steady trickle of tears, and as the service ended I sat fixed to my chair, unable to leave their presence. Like a reluctant Peter experiencing the transfigured Christ (Matthew 17:1–8), it felt so good to be there that I wanted to set up my tent in that chapel. I am grateful for the faithful presence of these sisters in our lives, a presence that endures beyond the veil.