Friday, September 19, 2008

Suscipe Me Domine

September 8, 2008, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother, was a doubly joyous occasion as two of our sisters made their First Profession. Sr. Lioba (Julia) Headlee and Sr. Maria-Gertrude (Angela) Read made their monastic vows for three years. The three monastic vows, dating from the earliest religious communities in the Church, are stability, fidelity to the monastic way of life, and obedience. All orders which follow the Rule of St. Benedict use these ancient vows. In making their vows for three years, the sisters not only formally commit themselves to our community and but also choose to bind themselves more intimately with Christ. After declaring their vows before the assembled Church, they confirmed their act with the traditional prayer from Psalm 119: "Suscipe me Domine secundum eloquium tuum et vivam; et non confundas me ab expectatione meam."* With arms raised in the air, mirroring the form of the Cross, they sang this verse three times, thus asking God to receive their vows and to always be the source and strength from which they flow.

In addition to receiving a religious name, the sisters received the black veil and full lenght scapular. All of these are symbols of their desire to be dead to the world and to live a new life in Christ. May He bring them to the fullfillment of all their desires-- union with Him.

*translated: "Uphold me O Lord according to your word and I shall live; and let me not be confounded in my hope."

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