Monday, May 13, 2013

Sister Mary Ellen makes her vows for the first time!

As Daughters of Charity we make annual vows--not temporary or perpetual vows as other communities.  Watch our video for more info on that: We renew our vows together on the feast of the Annunciation each year.  However, when we make them for the first time we do so on another date.  I asked Sister Mary Ellen to share with us a reflection of her big day:

It was the day the Lord had made!  And we rejoiced and were glad!

On April 27, 2013, in the presence of my Jesus, and companioned by my sisters, family and friends, I made vows for the first time.   Perhaps you heard the angels sing?   Maybe you perceived a wave of sublime joy as if your heart had been locked into the place it was always meant to be?  Me, too.  Indeed, that was the day the Lord had made for me and those who stand with me.  And I am still rejoicing and feeling glad.

I was asked to share a bit of my reflection on that day. This is a glimpse  of the joy of that day.

After the liturgy, we went to the dining room that had been beautifully decorated in various shades of green, much like Ireland.  The soft green napkins, upon the dark green placemat, were held in rings with silver stickers which had imprinted upon them: “ Vow Day, April 27, 2013”.   As I took in this elegant sight, my darling, 4 year old nephew, Killian caught my eye.   He had collected all the silver stickers at his table and had stuck every one of them to his little face.  When I came close to him, he strained his neck to bring his face toward mine and he smiled broadly, as if to say, look what I did! He had transformed himself into some sort of poster child of my vow day.   I momentarily beheld this wondrous sight; then I bent down and kissed his sticker spotted little face.

How fitting that this was the first sight I saw upon entering the celebration of my vows for the first time.  You see, Father Emmet had spoken of “branding” during the vow homily. He postulated that one’s ability to succeed in the world can heavily depend upon how we brand ourselves to the world and what value that branding is given by the world.   He then noted how the Poor are branded by the world as disposable and having little value.   A Daughter of Charity reads the world’s branding and reverses its value.  We experience those who live in Poverty as having the pedigree branding and immeasurable value as that of Jesus Christ. 

On that glorious day, I vowed to Love.  Just as I am drawn to a sticker branded little cherub, I promised that the branding of one who is Poor will always attract me to come closer and respond with love. Just as Killian’s stickers annunciated my vows for the first time, I promised that every time I see an impoverished person, I will see on their face the responsibility I assumed in my vows.  And just as my nephew’s face broadcasted my vows, I promised to remember that the Poor are His “poster children.”   I promised to always kiss the leper.

That’s what can happen on any day that the Lord has made!
With Love,
Sr. Mary Ellen, D.C.
Brooklyn, NY

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