Come to the water

Twenty years ago today I became a novice with the Society of the Sacred Heart. In a simple, informal ceremony of my devising, the Provincial welcomed me into the congregation, giving me my copy of the Constitutions and the congregational medal, with our logo of the world inside God's Heart. And thus I embarked on an amazing, life-changing adventure with God and journey into his Heart.

Somewhere in the ceremony, I know I used Isaiah 55, because it had featured significantly in part of my journey to that day. God's heartfelt plea and invitation had somehow struck a chord deep within me: Oh come to the water all you who are thirsty; though you have no money, come! Why spend money... on what fails to satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things... pay attention, come to me; listen, and your soul will live...

Two years later, the opening hymn at my vows ceremony was Come to the Water, with each verse picking up themes from Isaiah and ending with a question: why should you pay the price... why should you give your life... where will your soul find rest... except for the Lord?

Twenty years ago the 11th January was an ordinary weekday; this year it's the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. And today God's anniversary gift to me was in today's Mass: Isaiah 55 as the first reading and Come to the Water as our communion hymn! Once again I heard God's eternal plea to come to him, to listen, to find my satisfaction and fulfilment only in God. And once again I sang those questions, at one level rhetorical, at another deeply necessary today and everyday...

Why should I pay the price, why should I give my life... except for the Lord...?

PS: By the time you read this we will have welcomed a new novice into the novitiate this afternoon. Please pray for her, that she may know God's love and favour, and that the time ahead be filled with grace, growth, challenge and transformation. And please pray too for all the other women in formation or discerning with us.


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