Purple Dots – Love in A Jar

By: Sr. Joy A. De Vera, RA

I was wondering why Assumption nuns are called “Purple Dots” by Assumption Alumni (also known as “Old Girls”).

In anyway, this is what I personally assume of the meaning of the name “Purple Dots”:

“Purple” is the color of the habit used by the sisters.

In the Church, it is known as the penitential color.

“Dot” as describe by Merriam Webster means “a small speck.”

It then became an “Aha!” moment for me! Yes, indeed, we are little penitent dots with the mission to Educate.

However, during this pandemic, creativity flourished. One of the sister shared with us the idea of making lemon curds. At first, we only did it for community consumption. We tried making it and it was fun. It built community relationship. But then, another idea came up. “Why don’t we try selling it?” This simple thought became our drive. Our pandemic mission to fulfill – our little way of contributing to the tuition of our mission school scholars. The day we posted the ad, orders came surprisingly. Our good friends supported our project. We juggled making it in between our prayers, studies, meetings and apostolate.

We gave up a little of our siesta time and offered our labor of love. We spent a few hours twice a week to do it. And those few hours brought joy to our hearts every time we made our finished products. What’s more fulfilling is when we made our mission supporters happy and satisfied.

 As I mused on the whole experience of making the lemon curd, the words from the scripture “I want love not sacrifice!” becomes alive. While putting together in the pot all the ingredients to cook as if they are all talking to me. I just did the little manual labor. However, the ingredients are the one being grated, squeezed, melted, dissolved and beaten. As I mixed everything for a few minutes, it then became a jar of lemon curd. Our own little humble jar of lemon curd. Then the thought came across my mind, what if I am the one being grated, squeezed, melted, dissolved and beaten? What a horrible torture that played on my mind. It is a dying-experience for each of the ingredients. On the other hand, this is the only way the ingredients can fulfill their purpose for something new will be created. I was mesmerized by the thought.

In my religious and spiritual journey, there’s a feeling that I am being grated, squeezed, melted, dissolved and beaten too. The formation is challenging. However, the Lord is always faithful, loving and merciful. His grace is always enough. I realized that in this small project, me and my sisters are putting together both our gifts and limitations so we can continually be transformed.

This is the grace of newness in the new normal. This is how our “lemon curd project” helped us in our formation.

To us, this became more than a project. 

It became our way to serve. Our simple mission of love. 

I realized that in every small jar that we produced, it will give life to someone. It can save the education of a child, who’s family is in crisis because of the pandemic. This is what I contemplated in the “purple dots lemon curd” project.

If God will grant me the grace to survive this Pandemic, I will be looking back on this experience someday.

What did I do to share Jesus’ love during the crisis?

Hoping that I will joyfully recall how I allowed the Lord to let me feel to be grated, squeezed, melted and beaten in doing mundane things. Maybe by then, I will forget the depressing effect of the crisis but I will surely remember that in the pandemic crisis, there’s the real presence where Christ-is. His presence was magnified in the small humble jar of a “Purple Dots Lemon Curd”.

Lord, teach us to be generous in little ways. Remind us that there’s nothing too little when it is made out of love and for love.

“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are

not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.”

Romans 8:18 NRSV

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