In-between and always

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. 

Any anniversary is always a good opportunity to take stock; to give thanks for all that has been, and recommit myself to all that is and will be, whatever it may be... And with each passing year my overwhelming feeling is increasingly one of gratitude. Gratitude for God's inexplicable choice and call; for his unswerving, unstinting fidelity, presence and patience. Gratitude because God has taken the little that I have offered, transformed it and filled me, instead with the fullness that is himself. 

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. 


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