By Sr Maria Goretti Tran
“‘This is the beauty of consecration: it is joy, joy…’ The joy of bringing God’s consolation to all. These are the words spoken by Pope Francis during his meeting with seminarians and novices in July, 2013,” the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life said in a Letter to consecrated men and women for the Year of Consecrated Life.
On the joy-filled day – the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, February 2, 2015 – I have experienced that beauty, I have touched that joy.
Yet more precisely, joy has touched my heart as I was witnessing to the first profession of six novices of the Sisters of St Paul of Chartres in St Stephen Cathedral, Brisbane.
It once was the joy that John the Baptist described and testified by his life: “The one who has the bride is the bridegroom.
“The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete.”
It now is my joy – the joy of attending a wedding of heaven and earth, of Christ and his brides.
It’s the joy of being flooded with the flowing stream of God’s grace and mercy, love and faithfulness through the vows professed.
It’s the joy of knowing that I am engaged in a larger family of God, SPC family, as a religious.
It is all the beauty of courageous lives that can give witness to the world.
I admire the six new professed sisters for their inspiring consecration.
Unsurprisingly, the vows are just the expression of what is always deep in the sisters’ hearts – the yearning of belonging to Christ.
As one sister shared her favourite quote: “My beloved is mine and I am His.”
May the beauty of their consecration be kept intact in God’s safe keeping.
And as I am looking forward for my own consecration, my own wedding, may this beauty be my inspiration, a flame of joy to unfold my days as I whisper to Him: “Draw me after you! Let us run!”
Sr Maria Goretti Tran is a Sister of St Paul de Chartres.