Mark 4:39 (NIV)
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
Mary Brenner first visited La Mesa State Penitentiary in 1965, when she was a prosperous Beverly Hills homemaker. What she saw moved her so deeply that she knew she had to return and began volunteering a few weeks at a time.
During her visits, she started wearing the habit of a Catholic nun - in part for her commitment to the Church and in part for her own safety. Her mission inspired others who joined her which resulted in the founding of a new religious order recognized by the Catholic Church.
The former Beverly Hills, California, resident took vows as a missionary sister at age 50, after a divorce ended a long marriage and her children were grown. She took the name of Sister Antonia.
Since 1977, she has lived among the more than 2,500 male and female inmates incarcerated at La Mesa Penitentiary. She has survived several prison riots at La Mesa.
During one of the riots, inmates battled the guards with bottles and rocks, while the guards shot back with machine guns-until Sister Antonia walked into the middle of the war, raised her hands, and signaled for quiet. Remarkably, calm fell on the prison.
She has poured out her life for these prisoners, nursing their wounds, getting them eyeglasses and medicine, caring for their families, and washing their bodies for burial.
She has said: "I wouldn't trade this cell for any place in the world."
Peace is a place that is found in Jesus.
Dear Lord, today we take our cares and concerns to You. May we rest in Your peace that will bring comfort to us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.