Reflection by Sister Meredith of Christ Crucified, O.C.D.

Praised be Jesus Christ! By God’s grace, I will soon be professing my final vows to our Lord Jesus Christ, binding myself to be poor, chaste, and obedient forever. I couldn’t ask for anything more! My heart is so full of gratitude and joy at the thought that He called me to be His bride. I realize how strange this way of life may be, especially when we live in a society that promises wealth, pleasure, and power in tangible things. Believe me, when I had an inkling about 15 years ago that God might be calling me, my first thought was utter terror and fear! What about my freedom and a husband by my side to share life with? What about my parents, siblings, and friends, how could I leave them? “No, Lord, I want to get married, please, just let me get married,” was my first plea against this thought.

Then in time, I reflected on the words of Jesus in St. Matthew “Some…have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.” (Matthew 19:12). “Whoever can accept this ought to accept it…” did this mean I had a choice in the matter? Well, yes, knowing Jesus as that perfect gentleman, He was proposing to me a way of life that I could accept or deny. Out of love for Him, I accepted then entered and experienced a way of life so beautiful, yet real in its struggles, a life full of grace amidst our humanity. Over the last ten years, I have had the grace of living a life centered on prayer, love of God, and of learning how to simply be with the Lord and to receive His love. I have also had the privilege of serving a multitude of people through my community’s ministries of healthcare, retreat work, and education. I’ve journeyed with other women discerning a call to religious life; couples struggling with their faith; consoled a crying child after his fall on the school playground; sang a soul into eternity by his bedside at death; and have grown in the experience of love and sacrifice in living with my sisters in community. I have experienced the incarnational truth that Saint John Paul II proclaimed…“Man cannot fully find himself, except through a sincere gift of self.”

Jesus will grant my deepest desire on July 15th, 2018. On that day, I will kneel down before Him and profess my vows, begging Him for the grace to fortify my weakness in this consecration to Him, my God. On this day, I will get married to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, my Savior. On that day and every day, I profess the words of St. Therese, “I love you, my Jesus, and I give myself to you forever!” With humble gratitude, I thank you who have been praying for me these past years. I ask for your continued prayers that I may persevere in my holy vocation, and please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your intentions. May God reward you abundantly!

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