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Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Saturday, 2 February 2013

The God who gives joy

Today, Candlemas, is also the official Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. And while I was reflecting on this and what to write, I was given the gift of someone else's words, written for another occasion but so very right for today. I don't usually plagiarise, but these words are sheer gift, and so I hope the author will forgive me, and regard this blogpost as my gift to her on her 40th anniversary of perpetual profession of vows...

I made my first vows in 1996, only a month or so after the death at 101 of a sister called Norah in Blyth, NE England. At my ceremony the Provincial, reflecting on my choice of readings, and the joy and energy of my response, said she was reminded of something read at Norah's funeral from her writings:

Now I come to Blyth, to what will probably be the last stage of my journey towards God, God who gave joy to my youth, and joy every day of my life.

She contrasted us two women, at two different ends of our lives and religious lives, and went on to say:

...and here is God, going on calling people to discover in God's Heart the depths of God's self and the anguish of the world, and putting into both Norah's heart and Silvana's heart this deep joy and commitment in recognition and response...

... Maybe this is at the heart of what our vocation is about, the discovery of the endless love and compassion of God in the Heart of Christ for all humanity, and our free response in joy and our openness to be transformed by that love and compassion individually and together... Maybe what today is about is a celebration of that discovery and that response. Today, especially for Silvana, but also for each of the rest of us, it's a time of renewal, a time to touch again the source of our deepest meaning and happiness, and to experience again the love which compels us to search for and meet God at the heart of our world.

Today that Provincial, now an ex-Provincial, is celebrating the anniversary of her own perpetual free response in joy. I pray with gratitude for her, for the gift and passion and energy of her response to God, and for all that she is and has been for our congregation and its mission. Earlier today she posted that quote from Norah on Facebook, adding ...that is the centre, the God who gives joy at every stage of my life. It is to have a heart that dances before Him, like David, whether 70 or 19. Hopefully by 70 it is a bigger, wider heart because it has come to know the love of God's Heart more deeply.

There's nothing more to say really, except to repeat that this is the essence of what religious life is all about - responding to God's love through allowing our hearts to become bigger and wider... a love which compels us to search for and meet God at the heart of our world. And that today is a very good day to be reminded of that.

3 comments:

  1. I hope one day we will meet in person as I love what you write. I find that my vocation within a vocation is to pipe a song of joy to Jesus and this is done by realizing the many gifts received each day from "the God who gives joy at every stage of my life. Congratulations and keep your heart dancing before God!
    Love and prayer,
    Helen, rscj

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  2. I understand that this isn't related to your post, but getting the message out there :) please read and pass on...

    ROSARY TOMORROW, 5th February, 12 am GMT, FOR THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE

    Tomorrow (5th of February), the first bill proposing same-sex marriage is going to be heard in British Parliament. I ask you to join me, and many others, in the praying of a rosary tomorrow to ask for Our Lady's intercession in this. We are aiming to pray together at 12 am, noon (GMT) tomorrow. Pray whatever you are able to do - a decade, a Mystery, the full Rosary, even a short prayer to Our Lady -to beg for her help.

    It is our hope that if Catholics pray together for this, we can gain Our Lady's intercession in this dark hour.

    Please pass the message on any way you can! Email, blog, text, social media. 12 am tomorrow - a worldwide rosary for the defense of marriage.

    God Bless.

    Maria Kolbe

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  3. It is our hope that if Catholics pray together for this, we can gain Our Lady's intercession in this dark hour

    ReplyDelete