Friday, October 17, 2008

Two Weekends

A few weeks ago, Sr. Catherine Marie made her perpetual monastic profession in our monstery church. Last weekend, my cousing Sarah married the love of her life at their home parish in Louisville. Though the two of them are embarking on very different journeys, the relative proximity of the two ceremonies left me thinking about how they are more alike than different.

I think the most striking thing is that both feel quite strongly that they are following the path God has lain out for their lives. At a prayer service the night before her profession, Sr. Catherine spoke so eloquently about how she felt God calling her to this lifestyle. At my cousin's reception, her lifelong best friend spoke of how Sarah and her husband were so different that only God could have seen the beautiful couple they would form. Though the lifestyles are radically different, I believe that God has called each of these young women to the lives that are best.

I was also struck by the similarity in the ceremonies. Both made their commitments as part of a community of faith. My cousin had all of her friends and family there to witness the ceremony. Sr. Catherine had her monastic community along with many of the other important people in her life. Neither of these ceremonies is private. Vows were stated, documents were signed, rings were exchanged, hugs and kisses shared... all done publicly because their vocation is not meant to be a privte one. For both, it is important to be part of the community of God.

Finally, they each stood in the sanctuary and made their commitment not just to the community or to their husband, but also to God, to faithfully live out the lifestyle to which they have been called. Both ceremonies included prayer as the backdrop for everything that was done. I find it absolutely awe-inspiring to see people commit their lives to following the voice of God, whatever it may be.

And so I end with a prayer for Catherine, for Sarah and for everyone else who is striving to find the will of God and to follow it all the days of their lives. God bless them all.

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