(The Word Made Flesh and Poured Out by Mike Moyers)
By Sister Nancy Liddy
Once again, with the arrival of autumn came the community feast of Saint Ursula. On the following day, members of area religious communities celebrated the Diocesan Jubilee for Women Religious with the Bishop of Owensboro. Both celebrations gave us the opportunity to renew our vows together.
Bishop Medley prayed at the conclusion of the Renewal of Vows, “As you live your vows … may joy be yours and may your sorrows always be a part of your growth in Christ.” The prayer echoes the familiar words of Scripture on hope in the life to come, “your sorrow shall be turned into joy. (Jn 16:20) It is also the promise of Saint Angela from her Fifth Counsel, “troubles and anxieties will soon turn to gladness and joy,” (v.29-30) and the possibility of a glimmer of that joy in the midst of difficulties.
In Eileen Egan’s book “Such a Vision of the Street,” she describes the joy surrounding the final profession of the Missionaries of Charity. After a formal profession of vows there is a welcome ceremony in the convent. Following the private reception with the religious community, friends, priests and co-workers joined the sisters in the convent gardens for a simple reception. Egan writes, “there, under a leafy canopy the sisters began to dance about” the lighted candles they held “seemed to dance as the figures dipped and swayed with grace as dusk descended.” The newly professed sisters, who for years already shared in the miseries of the suffering, had cultivated a way of life that let them experience the joy of their earthly life.
As we all know, every human situation is a combination, not always in equal proportion, of things going well and things coming unglued. Reminding ourselves to make the most of our life as it is – whatever our calling – enables us to commit ourselves in ways we never thought possible.
Something to Consider
Imagine St. Ursula after dodging a forced betrothal now setting out to sea with her companions, sails unfurled, enjoying the present moment and its potential.
Question: Do I dwell on the positive aspects of my life of faith and allow myself to be lifted up by them?