The following is the reflection written by Sister Sue Scharfenberger, OSU, for the funeral Mass of Sister Raymunda Orth, OSU.


“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

The wisdom of The Little Prince opens for us an understanding of time. And of relationships.

The scripture today tells us there is time for everything. But neither the scripture nor the Little Prince is talking about “chronos,” the chronological time. No, what we are hearing is “kairos,” that “aha” moment when we know we are connecting, we are with the other. And the Other is with us.

With chronos there is never enough time. And who among us does not carry a calendar so that we can get everything done in “the time that we have.” And how often do we hear or say, “There is no time for ______________ .” fill in the blanks.

With kairos, there is always an abundance of time. It is the time you have “wasted” for your rose that makes your rose so important. Kairos is not measured by the clock, but by the quality of our relationships.

Jesus was good at wasting time. On the hillside with 5,000. In the home of Martha and Mary. On the road to Emmaus. Wasting time was what Jesus did well, and in every piece of bread shared, in every Word broken open, in every step taken, there were more roses that became important.

It is always interesting to me to discover the readings that someone chooses for their departure ceremony. There are clues into the person’s life, their hopes and dreams, their beliefs, and the purpose of their life’s journey.

I was a young student at St. Raphael’s when I took piano lessons from Sister Raymunda. We were given a half hour once a week to slip out of class and go over to the convent for the music lesson. It was a special time. Not earth-shaking. No award-winning performances. But I knew it was my time. Somehow, even as a young girl I knew that Sister Raymunda was “wasting time” with me.

And much later in my life, when I was 18, and when I felt pretty sure that I wanted to explore an Ursuline vocation, I went looking for Sister Raymunda who was then at St. Elizabeth’s. She “took the time,” even into what was then night silence for the Sisters, and she listened.

Over the years there were gaps in our connecting. At one time, she let me know that she never chose “music,” but she loved playing the organ for community liturgies especially in Marian Home. She never chose special education, but she loved working with people with special needs at Pitt Academy.

She credited Sister Regina Marie Bevelacqua’s inspiration and example in that ministry and recalled her influence at Regina Marie’s vigil.

And even beyond her oficial ministries, Sister Raymunda took the time with those who needed to feel like a special rose.

Sister Raymunda was so sure of her relationship with God that, as Isaiah says, “You are precious to me and I love you,” that she wanted everyone else to feel the same. So, she set out to do that in her own quiet, attentive, and grateful way.

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

As we remember Sister Raymunda, let us renew our commitment to take time, to waste time, to do as the gospel says, “Do for others what you want, need,  hope for them to do for you.”

Waste a little time. And watch the roses bloom.