Today is the eighteenth anniversary of the day I professed my perpetual vows. I share this day with most of the group with whom I prepared for profession, and so they are all very present in my prayers and my memories.
We don't generally make a big thing of 'normal' anniversaries. Jubilees, yes; we celebrate, sometimes with great fanfare, twenty-five, fifty, sixty or more years. But the in-between anniversaries slip by, celebrated quietly in our hearts; maybe acknowledged by others, if we mention them, or shared, as mine are, with women on every continent. And yet it is those quietly marked in-between years which make up the fullness - of joy, and gratitude and renewed fervour - poured into every jubilee, and into every always and forever.
And gratitude because all is gift; because all is grace - copious, unmerited, and often unexpected.
All good reasons to celebrate! So wherever you are, please join me in this. Say a prayer (or two) for me. Recall God's presence, gifts and blessings in your own lives - even, especially, if you don't currently feel very blessed. And - whenever and however you can - treat yourself to something sweet or festive, to your favourite song or walk or whatever, to mark your thanksgiving and mine; fusing your celebration with mine, and, I hope, many others, unknown to each other, but known to and delighted in by God.