Sister Margaret Kob, OCD, 89

“There’s not much to say about me,” asserts 89-year-old Sister Margaret Kob, with the kind of gentle humility born from a life of contemplation. A member of the Discalced Carmelites in Danville, Pennsylvania, Sister Margaret grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was taught by Dominicans. She knew early on that she had a vocation to religious life. A self-described introvert, Sister Margaret was attracted to the quiet reflection of the Carmelites. “Even to this day, I have a contemplative bent,” she says.

She entered religious life in 1946. Seventy years later, her days continue to revolve around the traditional monastic practices of prayer, work, and meditation. “I get up at 4 a.m. because I like to come down to the chapel,” she says. “I go to the tabernacle and can pray for an hour and a half before anyone comes. I like the quiet time with Jesus.”

When she is not praying, Sister Margaret can often be found pouring over Scripture. “The Word of God means so much to me,” she says. “I get thrilled at new insights.”

Many years ago, she participated in a retreat led by a Benedictine priest. He suggested that the participants each take an index card and write down everything they knew about each of the psalms. But an index card was not enough for Sister Margaret. She spent the next 12 years doing a personal study of each of the Bible’s 150 psalms, filling two large binders along the way. “I used every bit of time I could find,” she explains. “That study of the psalms was pivotal in my life. It provided me with a solid familiarity of the scriptures and where they fit into the heart of the psalmist.”

Her favorite psalm is Psalm 18. “I love the ones that are strongly Messianic,” she explains. “But every one is Messianic. Every one is the prayer of Jesus. He is everything.”