Today is the last day of the year … yet the church year has only just begun. Having celebrated the season of Advent and now the season of Christmas, I feel as though we are already full swing into the new year. Still, it’s worth reflecting on the year.
This year has been filled with a few good milestones for me. The most significant is my profession of final vows. Having been part of the IHM Congregation for ten years, it was wonderful to publically profess my lifelong commitment before God, my IHM Sisters, family and friends. Having already been living the vowed life, I did not expect that the event of final vows would be much more than confirmation of God’s call. Yet it was quite amazing. In some very real way I felt changed somehow … maybe not ontologically but pretty darn close. I suppose part of it is the lifelong aspect … the “till death do us part” thing. We don’t actually use those words in our vows but the wording is equally unnerving: “… I vow to God, in your presence, Sister [name of general superior/president], celibacy, obedience, and poverty for the rest of my life …” Wow! It’s still unnerving even now, but in a good way. I think about the sisters who stood behind me, with me — encouraging, challenging, laughing, crying, rejoicing, pondering, praying. They show me the face of God and his love and compassion. They help me to be more of myself, to seek God without thinking of the cost, to break down the walls of my little world to recognize and serve the needs of people wherever and whenever I may encounter them.
Another milestone was this little blog. Started as a way to learn about blogs and to see if I could get myself to write regularly, A Nun’s Life has developed a life of its own. I am grateful for the many people who visit, comment, and/or email me. I’ve enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you. I appreciate the range of comments as well as the suggestions for topics to address, ways to improve, and further elucidation on subjects. I post every comment unless it is private (personally addressed to me) or uncharitable (disparaging towards another person or group). I hope that this is truly an open forum to discuss religious life and what it means to be a sister/nun.
Well, I just discovered your blog – so that is a milestone too! Happy New Year!
I just wanted to say how pleased I am to know about your blog… I have ties to the IHM community, and I have been promoting blogs and blogging to Marygrove faculty and students for a while now. I’ve just added you to my favorites list.
I’ve just looked up poverty in my dictionary, because it bothers me that that’s part of your vows. (I know, that’s MY issue, not yours.) It just seems so mean somehow, to make someone promise to be powerless in a way. One of the definitions in my dictionary is about renouncing the right to individual ownership. Now that I can understand…how it could be desirable to let go of owning things…vs. how I typically view poverty, which is sorely lacking in resources and therefore constantly feeling LACK. How to feel abundant in mind and heart when one feels lack? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what poverty means to YOU.
Marilyn … thanks for the comment … check out my post The Vow of Poverty for my response.