Five inspiring quotes from Sister Helen Prejean

When I went to Sister Helen Prejean’s lecture Monday evening at Loyola University Maryland, I expected to be inspired by her words. What I was more surprised by was just how deeply her work is rooted in her faith, and how much I now feel I need to reflect on how I am living out my own faith.

Somehow hearing her speak at the start of Holy Week turned out to be the perfect jumpstart to the last few days of Lent—and not just because she said, “We all have our Holy Weeks, our own journeys to Jerusalem.”

I was struck by Sister Helen’s strong personality, sense of humor, her passion for what she does, and her humility in recognizing that she has relied on others to help her find her way. And I love her idea that “sneaky Jesus” prods us to take on a different mission or change direction when we might least expect it.

Here are five of my favorite quotes from Sister Helen’s talk, though the author of Dead Man Walking has given me so much to think about this week:

  1. “You just put your hand on a rope somewhere and keep pulling and it brings us into community.”
  2. “Where there’s life, there’s hope. So we go back and we keep working.”
  3. “Is not everybody worth more than the worst thing they’ve ever done in their life?”
  4. “You’re not going to die without seeing a loving face. I’ll be the face of Christ to you.” (when recounting a conversation with a man who was about to be executed)
  5. “Sometimes people say, ‘You’re so brave or you’re so this or you’re so that.’ It’s grace that carries you.”

May you find grace is carrying you through this Holy Week as we await the sorrow of Good Friday, the waiting of Holy Saturday, and the joy of Easter.

Linking up with Ashley at Big White Farmhouse for Five Favorites.

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.