A Silver Dollar


For the last time I came to my work area I had occupied the past many years to clear my desk and to gather my personal stuff to take home.

Sister Charles, still recovering from a foot surgery, came by holding on to her walker from the adjacent Sisters' House. She had always talked to me every time she passed by my desk on her way to and from her Math classes, and now she knew what I was doing.

As usual, she asked how I and my family were doing and I did the same. She pointed to my computer keyboard and said she had a note for me. I picked it up and when I opened it, something fell on the floor with a clinking sound.

The note read: "Andy, The silver dollar is one of 25 my mother gave me when I celebrated my 25th Jubilee as a Daughter of Charity. May your retirement and the next part of your life be blessed in every way. With love and respect, Sr. Charles."

I picked up the silver coin from the floor and, very much touched, said: "Sister, thank you. I will keep and treasure this."

She told me she had given one of these coins to a very good friend, a fellow Math teacher and a mutual friend, who is now a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington. I knew she treasured these coins given by her mother and I felt very special being given one of them.

Thanking her again, I said: "Please pray for me and my family as I will pray for you and yours."

When she replied: "Of course. Good luck" I saw her visibly touched, as I was.

The silver dollar Sister gave me is worth not only 100 cents nor the value of the silver contained in it. It is worth much, much more. It is priceless.

For its value lies in the friendship and the love and respect that that particular coin became a symbol of. And one cannot put a value to those in monetary terms.

In our journey through life, we are often blessed with fellow travelers who are aware of the values held in common and that truly matter and who help and inspire us by their friendship to spread such kindness and friendship to others.

There are people who touch you by their kindness, their sincerity, their loving and respectful ways, their genuine humility.

In a world reeking with self-righteousness, selfishness, greed, negativity, indifference and hate, we need such friends who remind us of Someone who offered us His love and friendship even at the cost of His own life.

That Someone told us: "No longer do I call you servants, but I have called you friends . . . " (John 15:15)

This Friend not only came and gave up His life for us. He made sure that when He left He gave us, not only a symbol of that friendship, but Himself, truly His own Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, that is in the shape of a silver dollar . . . the shape of the visible gift Sister Charles gave me on my last day at Seton.#

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