Author: Sr. Nancyann Turner, OP

Last Friday afternoon, a distraught mother sort of pushed her 8 year old daughter into my office so that I could talk with her.  The little girl, Alice, had a crumbled paper indicating that she had already served a one day “in-school” suspension and now had just been served a one day “out of school” suspension for outbursts, defiance and talking back.

I asked Alice to tell me all that had happened.  She pretty much agreed that she explodes, has outbursts and often, has great trouble controlling her behavior. We talked briefly about how important it was to think before reacting and screaming angry words.  She told me that my previous idea of counting to ten just didn’t work for her; did I have any other ideas?

I mentioned that sometimes, I take some deep breaths or I ask God to help me calm down.  Alice seemed startled at my answer and asked if I really believed in God.  I assured her that I did.  She, then, related to me that she wasn’t sure yet if there really was a God; she was still trying to decide that.

We talked a few more minutes and she asked about the devil. “My brother says I have the devil in me…in my heart.  Do you think I do?”  Naturally, I disagreed.

“No, I don’t think you have the devil in you. In fact, I think you have great love in your heart.  But sometimes, you forget that you have it—and love has great power. So remember that you have love and remember to use it.”

After a few minutes, she seemed quite satisfied with these thoughts and thanked me for our conversation.  Our theology and spiritual life session was finished. And I renewed my belief in God.