Coincidences or God?

Sr. Madeleine in the Paris apartment

Paris was on the agenda for me this past week. Having lived in Paris when I was 19 “many moons ago,” I am always happy for a return trip to a city where I feel very much at home. The rain made for a crowded bus from Gare du Nord as I boarded, suitcase in tow, and fumbled with my ticket. I have sworn off the metro, albeit it more modern, fast and efficient than it was 50 years ago! This decision made for some healthy walking and beautiful sunset viewing. The security from Belgium to Paris is tight, bags being screened and passports checked. No more casual, relaxed train travel from France to Belgium and vice versa which was present on my first Paris trip late last November. The privilege of watching God’s plans unfold, if I allow it, takes some of the stress20160216_192530 and worry out of project planning. After all, the projects are His and I claim to want His will. People were “bumped into” at just the right moment and physical church doors were opened when they were normally shut and closed. One lady
said, “I am never here and when I am, I work by appointment only.” It was lunch hour and the office was empty so I spoke with the only person I saw! On my return train trip, I sat next to a Capuchin oblate whose work is international, and who was very interested in all ecumenical activities so a lively discussion of both my home convent and my convent here at the Béguinnage ensued. The Capuchin eagerly reminded me as he courteously lowered my suitcase, helped me off the train and waved goodbye amongst the crowd, “Nothing is by coincidence.”

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