This past Friday morning when I started my day, it was still pitch black outside. I was at our mission in Chimaluacan, Mexico, somewhat of an urban “frontier” community just outside Mexico City. I reached down to put on my MSBT pin, as I do every morning before going out to face the world. Only this time, I stopped. Hey, wait a minute…. is this my pin? It seemed… different. I shrugged and put the chain around my neck, and in that moment I spied another pin on my desk. Oops! It seems the night before I had picked up Sr. Grace Raymond’s pin when I saw it in the bathroom, thinking it was mine.
I found Grace and as I placed her pin in her hand, I was suddenly struck with the power of this object we put around our necks every morning. The pin is the public sign of our consecration. Every Missionary Servant receives a “big pin” when she professes her first vows. It replaces the “little pin” candidates receive when they begin formation. While at first glance one pin looks like another, after years of daily use, each pin does tend to pick up its own character.
But as I handed Grace back her pin, I wasn’t thinking of the different pattern of scratches. I was thinking about the lives of the women who wear the pins. The Big Pin I was given on August 15, 1989 had been worn by Sr. Margaret Edward for many decades. She died soon before my first profession, and her pin was passed on to me. It is humbling to wear it. Every morning, we Missionary Servants put on the pins of great missionaries who went before us, and we dare to wear those pins into the world.
More than humbling, it is consoling to wear it. I have developed a habit of grasping my pin if I’m upset and need to pray about something: I only became aware of this habit because once in awhile I grab at nothing and realize I don’t have my pin on!
Our MSBT pin identifies us to the world as nothing else does. All of us can tell stories of being approached by a stranger who recognizes the pin and wants to tell us about some wonderful Missionary Servant who has touched his or her life. I have been in vows for many years now, but I can honestly say that the wonder of wearing this pin has not worn off. I know what it means, and I want to live up to it. I want to be a good Missionary Servant of the Most Blessed Trinity.
Note: The design of the MSBT pin is reflected in the green and yellow graphic at the top of this blog.