January 23, 2009

Contemplating the Apostolic Work of a Superior

On January 18th, Saint Francis Convent witnessed a gathering which takes place early each year. The superiors and Sisters-in-Charge all come together for a time of reflection, prayer and discussion, to strengthen and support them in their apostolic service to our Sisters.

So often in thinking about the vow of obedience, we think in terms of the subject, "the one who obeys" and the responsibility and privilege of giving our lives to God through the full dedication of our wills. But there is always the one who is called to mediate that mystery. In order to make obedience concrete and real, we have to have a face and a voice to obey.

It is an awesome responsibility and one that no human being can do perfectly. To wield spiritual authority, to have the obligation to provide an example to others of exemplary service, to exercise patience, mildness, and also to ensure the careful keeping of the Rule, to accompany the Sisters in their quest to serve Christ, to challenge them and to comfort them - who can do all of this without fault?

And yet, God, who is all-wise, has chosen this way for us to bring our will to Him, by subordinating it to His chosen instrument.

How much does he trust us! Not only the superiors He chooses, but the ones who desire to obey. He desires us to come to holiness through human instruments.

And He makes it work. Through the full dedication of our wills through the sacrifice of obedience, we come to holiness, to a fulfillment of our deepest longing and to a profound happiness.

It is indeed a mystery.

--submitted by Sister M. Luka, Kansas City, KS.

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