Sunday, 8 May 2016

Excerpt from "TURQUOISE MOON" BOOK I: LEILA - Chapter III

Cyprus - St Joseph’s Convent - Lanarca

“You may have come here as postulants, hoping to escape the world, its sorrows, its burdens, its choices,” Sister Dominick pauses, “ You think to seek refuge in God; but there is no escaping service to humanity, and only by this service do we truly serve Him.”

Silent in the back row, Sister Mary Joseph runs her fingers over her rosary. In the quiet recesses of her mind she chants: Hail Mary full of grace…

“Your prayers are priceless, but your talents are needed. You are needed.” Sister Dominick’s gaze roves over the impassive faces in their starched frames.

“There are people in pain, the whole world is now struggling to find itself again in the aftermath of war and chaos. We are sending sisters to Palestine, to Africa, to India. We are sending women to serve God by service to our brethren. We look for women with the courage to heal the flesh, so they can reach the spirit - touch the lost soul within.”

Again those agate eyes seem to seek our certain faces. “Obedience to God’s will. That is what you vowed, my Sisters, so I set you a challenge tonight. Search in the silence of your hearts, ask God for a sign. Hearken to his call, my Sisters, and answer it with love.”

Love. Sister Mary Joseph frowns. Love. She has come here for the warm comforting embrace of God, for consolation, for forgetfulness, not to risk her sanity again in love.

“We come as brides, to serve for joy, and so let us serve.”

She kneels, she prays, and she waits. Her rosary, her counters of forgetfulness - each prayer a submersion of her self in holy silence - hangs from her hands; and around her waist under the coarse stuff of her shift, where modesty prevents even the Postulant Mistress from detecting its existence, hangs the turquoise on its scarlet thread.

The answer comes, as she knew it would. She was made for service, the whispering call is imperative.

Come, Leila, come to pray, come to love, come to serve. Come to Africa.

She will obey, and she will serve God in love.


Manuela Cardiga

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