Yesterday, Sister Julie and I attended the Associate Covenant ceremony of our friend Holly. The ceremony was held in the Motherhouse in Monroe, Michigan. The warm light of the setting sun glowed in the Chapel windows as Holly stepped forward and made her formal commitment to the IHM way of prayer, community, and ministry. It was a beautiful and deeply touching ceremony.

ConverganceHolly dedicated the ceremony to Bede Griffiths, a Benedictine priest who has done much writing and speaking about the mystical roots of Christianity. The desire to grow in awareness of oneself and of the Divine certainly isn’t unique to Christianity – it is shared by many of the great religions of the world, such as Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism.

I loved how the ceremony reflected the universal human desire for the Divine. There was a lotus flower, a religious symbol common in Hinduism and Buddhism, on the cover of the ceremony booklet. There were readings from the Book of Wisdom and the Gospel of Luke, as well as from the writings of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn, among others. The music included pieces such as “How Can I Keep from Singing” and “Nocturne.”

I celebrate Holly and all who are associates, affiliates, and friends of religious communities!