Sr. Miriam James Heidland, a national Catholic speaker and author, led the 2021 parish mission at St. Mary Mokena. The former Division I athlete turned nun gave a three-talk series on encountering Christ, forgiving others, and keeping hope.
Sister Miriam opened the parish mission by inviting us to encounter Jesus every day. She explained that the Lord seeks us out in the deepest, darkest areas of our lives so that He may transform our hearts. Part of her talk involved sharing her own personal encounter with Christ and how He entered her heart when she was hurting the most. The talk included a meditation in which Sister lead the audience into a prayerful encounter with the Lord.
Suffering and forgiveness were the focus of night two of Sister Miriam’s parish mission. She emphasized how we often suffer because we have not dealt with the unjust events in our past. Instead of repressing these traumas and eventually transmitting them onto others, she encourages us to forgive those who hurt us. By exploring the true meaning of forgiveness, which many people misunderstand, she helped audience members perceive areas in their own lives where they should forgive someone.
On night three of the parish mission, Sister’s focus was hope, not in the sense of wishful thinking, but of the confident expectation that heaven is our home. Hope is a confident desire of obtaining heaven, of seeking and pursuing it with confidence. She emphasized that the Cross and its suffering is the only way to Christ, but that we can always count on Him continually knocking on the door of our hearts, never ceasing to invite us to follow Him.
Sr. Miriam’s podcast, Abiding Together, can be found on iTunes and her book, Loved As I Am, can be found on Amazon. She tweets at @onegroovynun.