April 20, 2015

“Behold I am making all things new” Revelation 21:5

            What a tremendous grace to renew my vows for the first time! It was perfectly fitting that it was on the Feast of Divine Mercy. To be a bride of Christ is a supreme gift of divine mercy. God’s love is entirely gratuitous. Like the “spring of water welling up to eternal life,” He pours His love into our hearts, and draws us to Himself. He has conquered the grave that we may have life and have it abundantly. As I reflect on these past eight months since I first professed my vows, I am struck with the depth of God’s generosity. God is supreme, and has no need of us; still He chooses us. God is all powerful, and still he uses us. He thirsts for us, longing to make us new each day. For in allowing ourselves to be made new, we “renew the face of the earth.” Fr. Tim Christy, who gave two conferences on the recollection day before renewal, said: “In order to inspire others to conversion, we must first become acquainted with it ourselves.” Renewal is ultimately a call to conversion; to again cast off the old man and put on Christ. One is invited to look at where they have been, and where they wish to go. Renewal is defined as “the state of being made new, fresh, or strong again.” It is through our profession of the evangelical counsels that we are given the grace to persevere. In laying down our lives, and placing ourselves “at the disposal of this religious congregation,” we are strengthened. In recognizing our weakness, God’s power is made perfect in us. As I said our vow formula, I misspoke one line, repeated it correctly, and continued on. When I returned to my pew, it dawned on me that I am not able to live my vows solely on my own strength; therefore why should I be able to say them of my own ability. It is a precious reminder that all is gift. God is the giver of all good things. He is faithful, and He will lead us. Trusting in Him alone, we WILL be made new. We ARE being made new. In radiant joy let us announce with our lives, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. […] [F]or the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.”

-Sister M. Gemma, FSGM

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