Life in Abundance!

“I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.  The words of our Lord Jesus couldn’t be more appropriate than to us right now!  The Sisters of Life have much to rejoice in, with new life and grace being poured out in abundance!  Several weeks ago our seven postulants entered the novitiate in an investiture ceremony where they received their religious habit and new religious name.  The words of Isaiah 43:1, “I have called you by name. You are mine” were experienced in a deeper way by our new novices: Sr. Maria Theresa (Theresa Zettel), Sr. Anne Elizabeth Mary (Anne Carpentier), Sr. Gianna Maria (Joan Solomon), Sr. Monica Marie Therese (Kaileigh Currie), Sr. Teresita Maria Misericordia (Maureen Smith), Sr. Maria Regina Immaculata (Karen Williams), Sr. Marie Veritas (Nicole Severin).

 On the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Sr. Marie Noel Maximillienne de Cristo Rey,Sr. Grace Dominic, Sr. Mariae Laetitia, Sr. Ann Catherine and Sr. Maeve Nativitas professed their first vows and 7 of our Sisters renewed their vows.  Bishop William Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport was the main celebrant, along with several concelebrating priests.  Many family members and friends of the Sisters professing vows and all 70 of the Sisters of Life packed into our chapel at Villa Maria Guadalupe for the Profession Mass. A Profession Mass is something that can’t be described; only experienced!  The profound eternal reality of one human soul espousing herself to Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, leaves the heart and mind in silent and reverential awe.

 In The Foundations of Religious Life it says, “Touched by God’s Love, called into a deep, personal relationship with him alone as the source, center, and goal of one’s life, the person who hands her life completely over to the Lord to be set apart for him alone gives up worldly riches, the possibility of exclusive affection with another human being, and makes the supreme sacrifice of his or her own will.  What is left is the person – stripped of any status gained from family background, education, worldly achievements, or possessions acquired…If religious life is engaged fully and authentically, the joy and freedom found in the midst of obvious renunciations is itself a powerful witness to the world.  How is such joy and freedom possible?  It is precisely through this letting go, and the purification of heart that follows, that the deepest yearnings of the human heart are awakened: infinite love enduring beyond death, mercy that heals all wounds, and certain hope in eternal life.”

 This yearning in our hearts for happiness, for the infinite love enduring beyond death, mercy that heals all wounds, and certain hope in eternal life points us to what we’re made for…friendship with God.  Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI spoke of this desire to young people in London last September, “Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places.  The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God.  We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationship with others, but in God.  Only He can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts.  Not only does God love us with a depth and an intensity that we can scarcely begin to comprehend, but He invites us to respond to that love.  God wants your friendship.  And once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change.”