Cultivating Catholic Sisterhood (Film) - Letter from Jenna Guizar
For as long as she can remember, Jenna Guizar has longed for a sister. Someone she could always turn to, always rely on, and always look towards as a source of unconditional love. Through the biggest struggles of her adult life, Jenna has unexpectedly found what she always wanted: sisterhood.
To learn about The Catholic Woman's Sisterhood theme for this quarter's collection of letters, click here.
A few of our favorite moments
Jenna's Letter to You
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I always wanted a sister. I grew up with just one older brother who loved me a ton and always looked out for me. He was kind and funny and hung out with me on family vacations. But, he wasn’t a sister. I saw other girls around who had sisters, and I was always in awe at the relationship between sisters. The honesty, the love despite the hurt, the seeing past the others’ faults simply because you were sisters, bound together by a bond that never quite fades away, no matter how hard you try. And I always wanted that.
I remember the first time I felt like I was part of a friendship with sisters. These loyal, loving-beyond-measure, kind women were sisters, and they loved me. Even though I wasn’t in their family, they saw me:
my faults, my annoying habits, my sin, and they still loved me. I have to chalk it up to the fact that they themselves were loved by each other through all of those things as well. They knew how to love. And they taught me how to love.
This must be how the Lord is with us -- how we are because of Him. We only know how to love because we have been loved. We only know how to show kindness because we have been shown incredible kindness. We only know how to give grace because time and time again, grace has poured out upon us.
He has loved us. Despite our incredible shortcomings, despite our pride, and our struggle, and our stubbornness, He loves us. And because of that great and unceasing and merciful love, we have breath. We have life. We have a foundation. We have security. We have a cup which overflows into every inch of our lives.
Those sisters taught me what it means to be loved and to love. Our Lord teaches us the very same thing, except in an even bigger way --
He teaches us how to have life, and we give others the dignity of life in the same way.
Because of what those three sisters taught me -- about security, about love, about grace -- I have constantly sought that in my life. Because of the great grace they gave to me, I look for that grace in every single person the Lord puts in my life.
He has put women in my life who have become my sisters. My sisters in Christ who love me despite my sin, who hold me when I’m weeping, who laugh with me at the purest, most incredible times in my life, who walk with me even when I continue to stumble and fall behind. They wait for me, these women He’s given me. They seek me out, they call after me. Just like He does. We learn it all from Him.
This beautiful circle of giving and taking in, it has been my life raft. This filling up by relationships both in Catholic sisters as well as our God, and this emptying into relationships, this is the give and take that makes my life more meaningful.
I am made stronger by these women who show up every day. I am held by them when I am too weak to go on. They are goodness to me. They are beauty to me. They are emptying out themselves to fill me up. They are Christ to me.
Catholic sisterhood is a gift. It is a hand sticking out of the raft to lift you back to life. Go ahead, grab it. Come on this raft with us, your sisters in Christ. We will walk with you. We will hold you up. We will laugh in joy.
This is home.
Are you searching for sisterhood?
So many of us long for the Catholic sisterhood Jenna spoke of. If you're searching for this kind of sisterhood, look no further: check out Blessed is She. Founded by Jenna herself, BiS is a community of women devoted to sisterhood and daily prayer.
BiS offers a place for Catholic sisterhood both online and in real life. They have a lovely Instagram, the daily readings with accompanying devotions, regional Facebook groups, blessed brunches, small groups, workshops and retreats. Woo!
They also recently released a liturgical planner for Catholic women. Guys, this thing is beautiful. If you’re looking for a way to better integrate your faith into your day-to-day life, this is a lovely and helpful tool to do so with.