Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Monica Martin professed her vows for the first time on June 3, 2012, the feast of the Blessed Trinity. Community Director, Sister Louise Hembrecht, explains why this Triune feast is a perfect day for Sister Monica’s first profession of vows.
Congratulations, Sister Monica. We gather this morning in anticipation of what will happen this afternoon. In a few hours you will profess your vows. God will consecrate you to Himself. As you know, religious consecration, the profession of vows, is not a sacramental action within the Church. It is rather a continuation, a perfection of Baptism, when the Blessed Trinity began dwelling within you. How fitting it is that you profess your vows on the feast of the Holy Trinity. May you always be aware of the tremendous gift that has been given you. May you live your vows out of a sense of love for tremendous love, Love Itself, dwells within you.
I trust that the Novitiate has been a blest time for you, a time of grace. During these past two years you have studied our Franciscan life, studied the vows, studied us. The Novitiate has been a time to grow in prayer, to be grounded in prayer. The learning is not complete now nor will it be in a few hours from now when you profess your vows. It has only begun. The vows you have studied, you are professing to live with all your heart and being. Throughout your whole life, you will need to continue to integrate prayer, community, and service for it is only through that integration that you will truly live the vows.
As you travel to Hawaii to begin your vowed life on mission, you will find that the pull to service is great but I trust that the pull to prayer and community is just as great. The three together form the basis of our evangelical apostolic religious life with Christ as the cornerstone. The vows are a means for you of manifesting the presence of the Trinity within you and within the world that surrounds you.
Today, the rest of us will look at you and be in awe of your excitement and the fervor of your love. We will see in you our own desire to be united with the Trinity in an outpouring of love and generosity. We are no longer caught up in the newness of living the vows, but we pray that each day we are overwhelmed by freshenss of the tremendous love of our God, a love that we continue to manifest in prayer, generous service and in living community.
God’s call to you, to each of us, is both simple and overwhelming. With our eyes and our hearts focused on the goodness and generosity of God, we will recognize the love of God in all that He gives us, in the beauty of creation, in the people He places in our lives, in the joys and in the sorrows that form our lives. We know that He will give you and that He gives each of us the grace to respond, not only to the big challenges of living the vows, but also to the little things of daily life.
May you live poverty in such a way that you manifest that God and His goodness to you are enough for you. May your living of obedience be a witness of your openness to God and the many ways He reveals His will in your life. May your daily living of chastity reveal God’s love for you and within you as the indwelling of the Trinity shines forth through you and may God’s love in and through you shine forth and reach out to all people and to all that God has created… may God bless this your profession day, Sister Monica, and each day of your vowed Religious life.
Watch facebook for more coverage of this awesome Community happening!