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A Present from the Lord

In the Collect for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, celebrated on February 2nd, we pray, “Almighty ever-living God, we humbly implore your majesty that, just as your Only Begotten Son was presented on this day in the Temple in the substance of our flesh, so, by your grace, we may be presented to you with minds made pure.” 
On this Feast, also considered the World Day for Consecrated Life, several of us presented ourselves to our Eucharistic Lord at Saints Peter and Paul Church, not far from our Provincial House here in Alton.  There we joined many other religious communities from the area to praise the Lord who has gifted us with a sure path to following Him more closely: the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  These three vows are a present from the Lord to each of us, safeguarding our vocation to be united to Christ in the religious life. 
The Holy Family witnessed to each vow as they brought their Divine Son to the temple.  Poor in material things, they brought the offering known to be for those who had only a meager income: two turtledoves.  Their undivided hearts expressed the chaste call of resolute love for God.  They listened attentively to the prescription of God’s law to present their son, the Son of the Father, to Him in obedience.  As we contemplated this Divine Family while chanting Evening Prayer and adoring the Son present in the Blessed Sacrament, we prayed for the universal Church and religious brothers and sisters worldwide and offered back to our Lord what we have first received from Him: our lives.
- Sister Marysia, FSGM

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