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Vigil Service Reflection for Sister Lawrence Fischer

Wake reflection for Sister Lawrence Fischer, OSB, of Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck

Wake Reflection for Sr. Lawrence Fischer 

~ by Sister Rosemary DeGracia

When Sr. Lawrence drew her last breath and passed into eternity, Sr. Nicole thanked her for fighting the good fight, finishing the race. Well done, O good and faithful servant. With these words of gratitude and admiration we let go of her earthly presence to follow her example of faithfulness.

Sister Lawrence was a woman of great faith who loved her God fiercely along with each of her family members—but there was never any question Who came first. She relied on the strength God gave her. She ended each day with a visit to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel to pray Compline and entrust the rest of the day to Jesus. Her faith was complex and strong. She read widely from contemporary as well as earlier spiritual authors.

Sister Lawrence embodied the example of the wise steward. We are all aware of her skill in the business offices she guided, but her stewardship extended to her personal choices and her reluctance to be wasteful. She made wonderful pecan pie whenever we were gifted with pecans but would have considered buying them as wasteful. The Lord stood by her as she cooked and baked—it was there that she expressed her joy. And she was not above being in close proximity to samples as something tasty came out of the oven.

She has finished the race. Her health challenges and physical diminishment were hard on her. She was no longer taking her daily late afternoon trek on the treadmill—with her rosary in one hand. As a vibrant woman with many gifts and interests, slowing down was not what she wanted to do. One of the last times I brought communion to her in the hospital, I  told her that I would give her the Eucharist and then we could chat before medical personnel interrupted.  She received and then said “no chat.” Talking was becoming uncomfortable for her, but maybe she just considered chatting unnecessary fluff. She liked to listen and linger over deep-not shallow conversations. She had a quirky sense of dry humor.

During her last few years of periodic hospitalizations and medical appointments, the Lord continued to stand by her to give her strength and hope. The recurrent setbacks were discouraging as she felt some small improvements only to be unable to sustain the gain. She exercised her remaining will to realize her dream of coming home to die. When she was here at last, she was a bit awestruck at her good fortune. Her longing for home was realized through the help of family and sisters as well as nursing staff. Her time of departure was at hand. We all long for the Lord’s gift of a crown of righteousness…We long for his appearing. You have taught us how to live, Sister Lawrence.

You fought the good fight.

You finished the race.

You kept the faith.        

 Well done, O good and faithful servant.