“From henceforth you shall be called…”What will it be, Lord? Alright, Lord I’ve surrendered. May Your Will be done! Oh, but Lord I really would like this name!” These are the thoughts that occupied my mind as July 16th drew closer and closer. I finally really sat down with these thoughts and talked with Our Lord about them. What does it mean to change my name? It is an exterior change that reflects a deeper transformation. Each sister’s name is a reflection of who God has called her to be, what her mission is in the life of the Church. It also reflects a new chapter in the life of the sister. As a woman who is getting married changes her last name to reflect the union of herself with her spouse, so too does a Carmelite sister receive a name to reflect her desire to belong to Jesus and to reflect her union with Him and His Church.
“From henceforth you shall be called…Sister Cecilia Marie of St. Therese”. Cecilia means “blind”- St. Cecilia was blind to the world’s allurements and received her true vision from her beloved Spouse, Jesus. Cecilia’s song of praise came first from her pure heart before it was heard on her lips. She lived Our Lord’s words, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. Though I have little musical talent, I too can sing God’s praise with a heart pure and totally given to Him. To offer God a heart totally surrendered – this is our Blessed Mother’s song. “Marie” is in honor of Our Lady, Queen and Beauty of Carmel, whose heart was the humble abode of her Divine Son, Jesus. She teaches me how to become a humble resting place for her Son, Jesus – a heart for Him.
This is where St. Therese comes in. How easy it can be when one sees how weak and little one is to say, “How can I hope to be like Mary, when I fall so much?” St. Therese teaches me confidence in His ABUNDANT love and mercy. Our Lord does not demand a perfect, “fall-free” heart just as He doesn’t look for a perfect opera voice to sing His praise. It is LOVE alone He seeks. May we each offer to God our hearts in Love and thus sing Him His favorite song.