Friday, December 12, 2008

"Lord, You have called me."

This past Monday, December 8th, was the semiannual profession of final vows for the Missionaries of Charity, held in Washington DC. Active sisters, contemplative sisters, junior sisters, aspirants, Lay MCs, volunteers, family, shelter residents, hospice residents...they fit wonderfully into the Basilica Crypt Church where the profession Mass was held. (They didn't fit quite so well into the convent where the reception was - a good many stayed outside despite the weather.)

During the Mass, before the sisters together profess their vows, the Archbishop calls each by her religious name and she responds "Lord, you have called me."

Lord, You have called me - You have called us. And this is the response we give to Your call. These are the gifts You have given us, and this is how we will use them in Your service. Whatever the struggles of the past ten years, whatever the sacrifices, whatever the joys; all those things we can articulate and those for which there are no words - they all come down to that one reality. Christ has called. And we have answered.

Monday was also the feast of the Immaculate Conception; the conception of the one who always gave her "Yes" to God. She could have said no just as Eve did - she too had that moment of decision for God or against. She too could have sinned...she could have listened to that 'trouble' inside her and shrunk away from the angel. But instead, it was yes - "let it be unto me."

Echoing that yes is not some high calling for priests and nuns; it's for all of us, every day. Even in uncertainty, when we can't see what God is doing or why He is doing it, it's still for us to say yes; to hold to Christ and trust in His absolute goodwill towards us. He can only want our good; we have to trust in that and act on it.

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