Mama Baba.

MotherDorofeaMirochnitchenkoIt is so fitting that the day after we remembered all the Saints that shone in North America, we remembered the life of the Nun Dorofea (Mirochnitchenko) who fell asleep in the Lord ten years ago (23/06/04).

Growing up with Mama Baba (what we all called her) in my life, I often caught glimpses of her storm-tossed past, as an orphan from war torn Europe, a displaced person fleeing Communism, a  refugee, and struggling mother and wife in a new world, but never could reconcile how ‘that person’ could turn out to be such a peaceful and loving influence in my life, and the lives of so many others. But ‘That person’ who saw more grief, violence, poverty, and uncertainty then I could ever imagine, was the same person who strove to love the Lord  with all her heart, soul, strength, and with all her mind; and she loved neighbours as herself. (Lk 10:27). That made all the difference.

For Mama Baba every day was an opportunity to offer the world something beautiful and kind, no matter what it was, or what challenges she faced. She never did anything monumental like write books, set up hospitals or even lead great movements for the betterment of humanity, rather she cooked, cleaned, knit, and knit some more. She prayed constantly, without fan fare or attention (Mt. 6:6) and repented always with the assurance that the Lord forgave and healed.

Although her gifts of food, and knitting, of prayer and conversation seem like nothing at the time, they turned out to be like those the bricks of faith that built a house founded upon the rock of Christ, that could withstand the hurricane that was her life (Mt. 7:24) . Always with thanksgiving, and always with joy, even if both were mixed with tears.

Her life of thanksgiving and service remains a profound witness of what can happen when even the most menial tasks are offered on to the Lord, and on behalf of the Lord. That no work is so unimportant that it cannot reveal the quiet voice of the Lord telling us that we are loved beyond anything we could ever know, bestowing the gifts of healing and peace. May we be inspired to follow her example of faithfulness, and love.

Memory eternal!

The Igumen John (Scratch) serving the funeral for the Nun Dorofea.