Mother Emily: Uncommon Care

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Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, to the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be His holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

“It is not [just] what we do but how we do it that matters. It is not different work, but a different way of doing our work that God asks of us. The habit of doing common things with uncommon care is what will make us saints.”

Mother Emily’s message on 5 June 1900 to the Community of the Sisters of the Church in their Rule as recounted in What Do You Seek? Wisdom from Religious Life for Today’s World by John-Francis Friendship (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2021) 177. This will be my last post from this book. I really enjoyed it.

In today’s Scripture, we see that Paul did not work alone. He had key people in cities and regions with whom he collaborated. Related to Corinth, it was Sosthenes. And Paul and Sosthenes wrote to those who were “sanctified in Christ Jesus” and “called to be His holy people” who were part of the larger community of faith, offering them a blessing of grace and peace.

With similar tone, Mother Emily greeted the sisters, challenging them to live set apart or holy lives by doing common things with uncommon care. While it is not our work but the work of Christ in us that makes us saints, our part is to live differently, set apart for God. In so doing, He works in and through us by grace.

Recently I had asked you to pray for Dan Busby, if you visit his CaringBridge and read his 26 January 2022 post, you will hear the inspiring story “God answers prayer in a big way and then some.” Therein you will find that the hospital credited my uncommon care for his miraculous recovery. Of course, I gave all glory to God, but am hopeful that they will allow more ministers to visit the sick, despite the dangers of Covid.