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A little over two years ago a friend of mine got married and had little packages wrapped with blue paper and white bows as the centerpieces for the tables at the reception.  The wedding cake looked exactly the same with three tiers and a big white icing bow at the top.   As they entered into their vocation that day the theme of being a “gift” was beautifully evident and the phrase from Guadium et Spes continued reverberating in my heart, “Man cannot find himself except through a sincere gift of himself”.

I remember hearing once that the greatest grace after Baptism is the gift of a religious vocation. Religious vocations are gifts that are directly received from the Heart of Christ pouring itself out in a complete gift of love on the Cross.  Gazing upon the crucified Lord, our hearts are compelled to be poured out as His was, that we may be more fully conformed to Jesus, who “fully reveals man to himself and makes his supreme calling clear” (Guadium et Spes).

Something that has struck me in my short time here has been how authentically the Sisters receive the blood and water which flows from the Heart of Christ into their own hearts in prayer and then pour themselves out for others in a sincere gift of self.  St. John Paul II once said, “Become who you are.”  If we are made in the image of God, then the more fully we conform ourselves to Jesus by giving ourselves as gifts like He did, the more fully we in turn become who God made us to be.  I think the word that best sums up the disposition of my heart during these months would be “gratitude” - gratitude for the gift of the Sisters and their vocations and that the Lord has invited me to be a part of this community.  And isn’t gratitude the proper response when one is given a gift?

- Kristen Rainey, Postulant


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