Thirst for the Infinite

In this month of October, dedicated to the Blessed Mother, dioceses throughout the world are celebrating Respect Life Month.  As Sisters of Life, we’ve been asked to travel far and wide to bring the message of the sacredness of human life and the sanctity of love.  This weekend alone our Sisters are traveling to Washington DC, Texas, Florida and Ontario (Canada) to speak at various conferences and retreats.  In the thousands of people that we have the privilege to meet throughout the year, there is a thirst for truth, a hunger for hope and a longing for authentic love in the depths of each heart.  They seek more.  The ‘more’ that this world cannot give, no matter how desperately they try to fill it with wealth, power and prestige.  This longing for the Infinite can only be satisfied by encountering Christ and His incredible and personal Love.  If we’re honest, it is the same cry that wells up from our hearts.  We want more. As St. Therese of the Child Jesus, whose feast we celebrated on Oct. 1st, said so fittingly, when given a basket of dolls to choose from, “I Choose All!” That’s what we want…ALL, and it is only found in a relationship with Christ.

This month I’ve been praying and reflecting daily on Religious Consecration, so I thought I would share some reflections as food for meditation.  I’ve been reading and re-reading an amazing book called “The Foundations of Religious Life: Revisiting the Vision” written by several authors who are all members of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR).  In the first chapter on Religious Consecration, written by Mother Agnes Mary and Sr. Mary Elizabeth, it says: “Through the total gift of self of the religious, Jesus again finds a dwelling place on earth, and seeks to assimilate the one consecrated to Himself…Allowing themselves to be won over by Him, they prepare to become, in a certain way, a prolongation of His humanity.  The love, mercy and providence of God are made tangible and real to people of every age through the religious who becomes a sign and vehicle of His presence and action in the world today.  It is through this entrance into the Paschal mystery that a religious is conformed to Christ and discovers her deepest identity.”  When we lay it all down and give the gift of ourselves to God we discover our deepest identity, found only in Christ.  God becomes present to others through us.

A Word from Our Founder, John Cardinal O’Connor:

“For me, the Sister of Life is especially consecrated by her vow of poverty.  She is prepared to give herself for the sake of the unborn because she is carrying the unborn Christ within her heart as did Mary.  She makes this sacrifice to make it possible for the Christ beneath her heart to radiate His presence into so many wombs, to purify, to heal, to strengthen, to give courage…Let the Christ that you carry beneath your heart use your hands to help others, use your eyes to look at others, use your lips, and tongue to speak to others, use your legs to walk toward others.  ‘Give God Permission.’  This is a simple definition of what it means to be consecrated.” (Given December 31, 1993 at the 7th Discernment Retreat)

Let us Give God Permission in the vicissitudes of our lives.  In this way God’s love and mercy are made real to the people we encounter who long to know what is True, Good and Beautiful.