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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sr Mary Elisabeth: How I Felt Making Perpetual Vows

On July 16th, 2011, Sr Mary Elisabeth of the Coronation did something that changed her life forever.  She made public perpetual vows in SOLT of chastity, poverty, and obedience.  The following is her answer to the question, "What did it feel like?"

Ask someone what the happiest moment of his life was, and you'll probably hear about a wedding day or the birth of a child.  Why?  People are happiest when they're in love.  And that's what being a religious sister is really all about.  What other bride wears her veil every day for the rest of her life?  The veil is a symbol of our eternal espousal and a sign to the world that we belong to God alone.  Only He is invited to enter the mystery of our inmost selves.  Likewise, He invites us into the depths of His heart, to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in a profound intimacy that begins here and now but that will continue increasing forever in our eternal union with Him.

What do sisters do?

"What counts most is not what religious do, but what they are as persons consecrated to the Lord", said Blessed John Paul II*.  Often people associate sisters with the good works they perform, yet our identity comes, not from the types of work we do but from our relationship with God.  Our vows do not come from ourselves alone; they are not made merely out of a desire to accomplish a certain good work in the world.  They are a response to God's invitation to live a life of love with Him.  When you love a person, you are attentive to the desires of his heart.  "What would He like?  What more can I do for Him?" From the answer to these questions arise the types of work that sisters do in the world.