Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Prayer for the Pray-ers


The community ring is my symbol of perpetual profession, the commitment of my life to our Benedictine community. The ring has only left my finger at the command of doctors. It is the constant reminder of my three-fold vows that sustain and guide my life in community. It is marked with the Greek initials of Christ which is surrounded by the palm fronds which mark the beginning of His Passion and the cross and nails which are the climax of His Passion. So the ring also reminds me of Him to whom I am committed in my vows. But what if those vows were dispensed? What if I became a general member of the Church again?

There has been much interest and speculation over the recent suppression of a religious group in the diocese. They were pray-ers for the world, and my heart goes out to them. Their public association of the faithful was ended which means that those who had been vowed are no longer bound to their sacred promises...their habits, rings, and other signs of professed life as a consecrated religious are no longer valid and should not be worn. Thankfully, the Shepherd who discerned the need to first guide and then suppress the association is continuing to guide and support the earnest search of the members to serve God.

My heart and prayer keeps returning to the professed and newly joined members of the association. The difficulties and challenges in their faith and commitment must be immense. The question of the unknown is daunting and their community is in the midst of it all. I can't imagine it...truly, I don't know what I would be if not a member of my Benedictine community; and I don't know how I would live if not as a vowed religious. Please pray for those vowed members of this former public association and for their continued discernment with the Shepherd of the diocese.


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