The Feast of St. Walburga

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Deborah Peters, OSB | February 25, 2021

In the first reading, Esther’s words ring true for us. We, as was she, are plunged into a world of danger.  Our dangers come from a turbulent climate, from unworthy leaders, from political upheaval, and from a deadly pandemic. Esther pleads to God to save her and her people. As it was for Esther, so it is for us, life and death are on the balance. We, too, must rely on God; indeed, we have to rely on God.  In spite of all that threatens us, we like Esther, have God’s promise of an everlasting inheritance, of his everlasting care.

Walburga and four other Sisters also found themselves in a world of upheaval. They traveled across the sea from a Benedictine monastery in England to Heidenheim, Germany, to a monastery of men and women, founded by her brother St. Wunibald. St. Boniface, her uncle, was one of the first to enlist the help of women missionaries to spread the light of faith. In Heidenheim, this well-educated Benedictine woman helped govern both men and women religious, wrote books, and cared for the sick—indeed, she was a role model for women in ages to come. At Heidenheim, she became famous for her piety,or her miracles, and for teaching God’s people how to seek, how to knock, and how to love.

And what of our own Sisters who in another century at the request of another Boniface, crossed another body of water, to a country to be missionaries to Germans. They came in waves to Kansas during a dreadful civil war.

They brought their lives, their dreams, and their love. St. Walburga and all those who unite our world do it by joining the world to Christ, as we do this morning, in that bread and wine that changes everything. In the Eucharist we search and find; in the Eucharist, the door is opened; in the Eucharist we find Christ’s life in us and we bring that life to the world. Indeed, by bringing our lives to Christ, we join our lives with that of all God’s people—past and present.  Here we find love, here we give love; more than that, we are love.

The simple truth is we live in God and God lives in us. 

Today, thanks to the gracious generosity of our Sisters, we will enjoy a special German breakfast in honor of St. Walburga AND in honor of those wonderful German Sisters who gave us so much and who encouraged us to seek, to knock, and to love.