Sister Mary Francis of the Five
(1900 - 1925)
Sinclair, another Mary
... and a Diamond
in the Dump
“That which is conceived in her is
of the Holy Ghost.”
St. Matthew 1.20
by a Poor Clare Colettine Nun
In a similar way,
we may say this of the mother of Margaret Sinclair, Sister Mary
Francis of the Five Wounds ... in fact, in the very same way
in which it may be said of all our mothers. Though the Holy Spirit
we had been conceived – in the mind of God and, in our case, through
our earthly father's cooperation (wittingly, willingly, or not)
with God – in our our own mother's wombs, for the Holy Spirit is
"the Giver of Life."
And always for a purpose,
to an end, that redounds not only to God’s glory, but our own happiness
, and the happiness of the lives of others whom we touch, whom God
would have us touch – wittingly, willingly, or not. God knows what
He is about.
We see this so clearly
in the life of Margaret Sinclair – she was one of us. Lowly. Unimportant
in the eyes of the world. Another child of another poor family.
When Margaret walked down the street, a halo did not shine over
her. People passed her by, as they do you and me, perhaps remarking
on her beauty, but nothing more. And yet, like Mary, unknown to
the world she bore within her, Christ ... and like Mary, brought
Him to the world.
like to share with you a picture of Divine Love that has dwelt in
my understanding, within my memory for many years now, a picture,
an icon, of the love of God that has taught me so much, spoken to
my soul so deeply of His great love and limitless mercy.
It is a picture of God sitting upon the trash heaps of a city dump,
the city slums of this world, panning for diamonds! God sits upon
a great mound of decaying matter and twisted junk, a great sieve
in his hands, and he is panning for diamonds, panning, among all
the refuse, for He knows that there are hidden diamonds there!
He is looking for his lost children, which are to him as diamonds,
of infinite worth. .. children whose beauty He can yet see.
What is a rubbish dump really? It is a random heap of discarded
people, discarded refuse, that from which all seeming usefulness
has been extracted, that which bears the stench of life, that which
is thrown away, unwanted ... All kinds of human excreta and offal,
superfluous junk, all intermingle to present a utter squalor ...
To the eye of an artist, something could always be found which could
be used to create something beautiful! A twisted piece of iron,
a bent tin, fragments of glass; all could be recreated by the artist
to become, to make, something new!
And so it with our God. He sits on the city dumps, He sees the hidden
beauty within it all, He sees His children that can be cleansed
and recreated in His image; He knows, He sees, that they can be
transformed into new and unspeakably beautiful creations. That is
love! That is Divine Love that never lets go, never gives up, always
hoping, longing, seeking for the better, the beautiful.
Think of the slums and city dumps of this world, the utter poverty
they embrace; places where children scavenge for food, or seek for
something, anything, that would bring them a few pennies! Staggering
over a stinking mass, they hope, they trust, that they will find
something! If a child can have such expectations amongst such chaos,
what of God looking upon the slums of this world?
In such areas, drug addiction, gang bullying, violence, prostitution,
pornography, all manner of sin and deprivation are present, and
yet this is the great love of our God, that it is these very places
that He visits, that He touches, that He seeks out the lost, those
who need healing, those who need His salvation.
Margaret Ann Sinclair was a diamond on such a dump. Raised up in
the slums of Edinburgh, Margaret would Have been well acquainted
with poor, frail, sinful, human nature. By a gift of grace her life
was preserved in purity and integrity. God called her out of the
slums, called her to be His bride, to be a Consecrated Nun, a Poor
Clare Sister — Margaret was a diamond ... and God found her.
Not all are so fortunate as Margaret. Many fall under the sinful
hands and influence of others, so-called friends and families may
give up on them, but God never does ... Never! When they have served
their usefulness and are cast out, tossed aside, bled and broken,
God keeps a record of all their tears and wanderings. Not one ...
not one escapes Him. He keeps every one.
Many lay groups, many apostolic sisters give of themselves heroically
to others that are living in such conditions. They are truly angels,
and many, many cloistered nuns pray for the lost that they may be
They are not forgotten. Not by God. Not by us. And, please God,
not by you.
Margaret Sinclair has a wonderful witness to give for our times.
She is an embodiment of the mercy and love of God, a sign that wherever
we are, God wants us, loves us and will seek us out.
Reflect deep within you upon this picture, this image, of God panning
for diamonds ...
Mary — our Mother, their Mother, your Mother — also ceaselessly
walks the streets of this world, the highways and byways, the alleys,
the dumps and the slums ... seeking her children, seeking whom she
loves for Christ her Son ... join her, unite your heart to her Immaculate
Heart and pray for all the "hidden diamonds". Never loose hope,
never give up on another human being – no matter how lost they may
God never does.
If you have a son or daughter caught up in vice and sin, never give
up! Pray and hope, for God loves them so much! Many fall from human
esteem, but none can ever fall beyond Gods love and mercy ... except
that they choose to.
Give thanks to the Lord for all the beautiful diamonds He finds
daily ... so many beautiful souls, made clean by His precious blood,
by his great love. And whom He makes clean, shines as stars in the
firmament, or as inextinguishable lights in the darkness that covers
the wastelands of this world.
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A Poor Clare Colettine Nun
for the Boston Catholic Journal
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Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti
verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power,
and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My
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