A celebration, not a jubilee

A week or so ago one of my Polish sisters posted on Facebook that she was quietly celebrating the 23rd anniversary of her first vows. According to FB's translator she wrote: 

I know it’s not an anniversary. Someone would say that there's nothing to be excited about, maybe in 2 years it'll be some sort of anniversary, but today?! And yet, when I think about this day, I know that for Love every year is unique and important, not just this anniversary one. That's why I'm celebrating in the silence of my heart together with the One. I share this invitation to celebrate each year with the One... What is more worth celebrating, rejoicing than faithful Love?

Amen, I silently murmured. As regular readers of this blog will have noticed, I'm all too keen to celebrate anniversaries, whether or not the year ends with a 0 or 5! Every in-between anniversary is an opportunity for quiet celebration, for gratitude and a renewal of love, and re-commitment to Love, and our mission of making God's love known. Every year is a milestone; an opportunity to look back, but also forward, to whatever might be, and to take stock, especially in these rapidly changing times.

Today I'm quietly celebrating the 21st anniversary of my perpetual vows, a day I share with nine of the women, from eleven countries and every continent, with whom I prepared for profession. And although here in the UK we still make a fuss of 21st birthdays, I recognise that a 21st anniversary is not a jubilee; 'nothing to be excited about', as my sister wrote... except for the one who marks the date in her heart with love, and immense gratitude. Nothing to be excited about... just an opportunity for quiet rejoicing, thanksgiving and renewal of my YES, celebrated with the One whose fidelity underpins each passing year.

I wrote about in-between anniversaries three years ago, and I can only echo and re-share what I said then. Three years on, I can still say that 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.

So, please celebrate and give thanks with me, and all who like to keep non-jubilee, in-between anniversaries and milestones. Because, to echo the final words of my Polish sister's post - what is more worth celebrating and rejoicing in, than faithful Love...?


  1. Good for you! Agree ! Congratulations also !


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