Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inviting the Sisters Out to a Meal

One of the women journalists writing for the Catholic Times gives us a glimpse of Catholic life in Korea. She mentioned that as is the custom in Korea, she made the rounds visiting relatives and friends giving the saebae, (low bow),  wishing those so greeted with the best for the New Year.

In the parish to which she belonged lived  sisters who attended daily Mass. She, also being a daily Mass goer came in contact with them often. For some time, she wanted to do something more than pay her respects but also to  invite them  out to a meal.   She had wanted to do this for some time. That Sunday after Mass, they were seated close to  her,  she quickly wrote a note giving  her telephone number and asking them to call her at their convenience.

As soon as she reached home the call came from the sisters. She asked them if they would be free sometime during the week to accept her invitation to a meal. The sister said she would bring the invitation up with the superior and let her know.  That afternoon the call came from the sisters, since they would be busy during the week,  that  evening would be fine.

She drove her car to the convent with a box of tangerines and was ushered into the house. She had a chance to look around and then when the sisters were ready they went to the restaurant that she had picked. They had a pleasant conversation and a good meal at the end of which a gentleman kept on looking into  the  room, since the  door was slightly ajar. The journalist thought it was  someone whom the sisters knew but the gentleman then opened the door and came in.

"Sister, I was so happy to see the sisters that I came in. My father's sister was a religious sister who loved me greatly;  she died a few years ago. Seeing  sisters was like seeing my aunt again and without notice came in. I have been busy these days, is the excuse, but seeing you has made me very happy and also sorry for not being faithful to my religious practices. Please, I want to take care of the bill for your meal."

The journalist stood up and told him that was impossible,  since they were her guest and the meal was on her.

He grabbed the bill in front of her plate and ask that she understand and acquiesce. The sisters also sided with him, so she gave in but gave him her notebook asking him for his name and address.  He said no, but she  implored and he responded that he has a public office and doesn't randomly  give his address. The journalist said she wants to pray for him and at least would he gave his baptismal name and his aunt's name.

She told the sisters, after he left,  she wanted to do something for the sisters, and it was taken away from her. However, the superior said  they enjoyed the time together and the meal was wonderful,  at the   same time the gentleman did something very nice; what  he did was a great consolation to him--sisters all agreed with her.  Her good deed was taken away from her, but she was left with a good feeling and will be praying for John and Bernadette.

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