The 2014 Polar Vortex brought us a postulant but we give more credit to our Passionist Saint Charles of Mt. Argus whose feast is January 5. Sr. Cecilia Maria entered on this same feast back in 2010. Elizabeth and family arrived Saturday, January 4th just as we were getting the heat working again in chapel. It was a great joy to see all of them again and to receive a new postulant in our ranks! By Monday our temp in chapel began to go back down and we moved out. Tuesday morning brought us a busted water sprinkler pipe in the back of chapel and yesterday brought us another busted pipe by our front entrance. I will share “the rest of the story” with photos later this week!
Here is Elizabeth with her parents and Mother Catherine Marie on the morning of the feast of Epiphany as she “postulates” – asks – to enter the cloister to discern more clearly God’s call to Passionist life.
Blurred photo – but it gives you a little taste of the
Elizabeth and family during a parlor visit.
During second Vespers of Epiphany Mother Catherine Marie gave an inspiring reflection about Elizabeth’s entrance. The full text is below.
The Holy Infant has been holding the postulant crucifix that Elizabeth will wear.
Sisters greet the new postulant with the kiss of peace.
The following is Mother Catherine Marie’s reflection for Elizabeth entrance day.
On this blessed evening of Epiphany Sunday, as we allow the Holy Spirit to open up for us more and more the mystery we’re celebrating, we find that many aspects of this feast can be applied to the mystery of a religious vocation, and many lessons can be drawn to appreciate the beauty of Elizabeth’s call from Florida to Kentucky as she followed the star of faith shining in her heart, guiding her vocational search.
We know that from all eternity, our Heavenly Father assigned each of us a vocation, a mission to accomplish during life. This same loving God guides our minds and hearts to find the unique place where He has destined us to serve the Church. And as He did for the Wise Men of old, God gives us a beckoning star, the light of faith, to guide us along our journey, that we may find and adore the Great King, Our Lord Jesus Christ and offer Him the gift of ourselves. Yes, instead of gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, we give the total gift of ourselves, our prayer, our sacrifices and good works, so that all peoples and nations may come to recognize and adore Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of Man.
St. Leo the Great’s sermon in the Office of Readings today told us that we are to imitate the obedience of the star. When we viewed that marvelous DVD on the Star of Bethlehem we learned how perfect are the mathematical laws governing the constellations of stars, the planets and galaxies, and how, because they are so perfect in obedience to their Creator’s laws, astronomers, using special computer software, can actually turn back the hubble telescope’s photos of the starry skies today, in order to view exactly how they were at the time of the birth of Christ and even on the day of His death! We also learned that each star and galaxy is unique and unrepeatable and therefore can be distinguished from every other.
This speaks powerfully to the mystery of our Passionist contemplative life, and therefore, using the analogy of the obedience of the stars and God calling each by name, we can grasp more fully some profound truths:
• that each of us likewise is unique and unrepeatable, called by name;
• that each of us has been set in a destined place in the “universe” of God’s Kingdom;
• and that each of us has a unique path or orbit to follow in glorifying God,
• and that we too like the Star of Bethlehem, are destined to draw many souls to find, worship and serve Christ.
St. Leo also said we are to imitate the star’s humble service. If we shine as children of the light, we will be serving God’s grace that continually invites all people to find Christ and be saved. In Passionist contemplative life, we do this through our life of prayer, sacrifice and good works. The deeper our union with Christ the Light, the more we will have zeal to help others find Christ. The deeper our union with Christ, the more will our consecrated lives give forth light, like the star of Bethlehem, drawing souls to Christ so they may experience the full fruits of Our Dear Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.
So, dear Elizabeth – with you we “begin again.” Having been led by faith to find Christ in Passionist life, let’s all renew our strong commitment to fulfill the mission God has given us for the people of our times, to walk with each other, support each other, and help each other to be all that God wants us to be, each one in the mystery of her unique and unrepeatable self. The words of St. Paul the Apostle to the Philippians come to mind: “Prove yourselves innocent and straightforward, children of God beyond reproach in the midst of a twisted and depraved generation, among whom you shine like stars in the sky while holding fast to the word of life.” Together, may our lives touch, help and transform the sinners living in the darkness and misery of twisted and depraved lives without God! Elizabeth, we are all walking the path with you, and will be supporting you and your family by our love and prayers. God bless you!