I want to be a sign of courageous hope in the world. How about you?
The reason for my hope is Jesus Christ. One way I live this is as a Dominican Sister of Peace. I believe that by accepting God’s call to be a religious sister and living my life faithfully, I am already showing others a sign of God’s hope.
In Jeremiah we read, “I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future full of hope.” (Jer. 29:11-13) This scripture was given to me on the day I was waiting to hear if I was accepted into candidacy as a Dominican. I was at work on a cold day in January 1991. As I settled in for the day, I turned my page-a-day scripture calendar to the new page. The reading from Jeremiah was written in bold italics. I read the scripture, closed my eyes and sent up a quick prayer, “Please let it be a yes. God, please let it be a yes.” Later that day, my phone rang and Sr. Anne told me that I was accepted into candidacy.
At many major milestones in my journey, that scripture has shown up just when I needed it–on the day I was accepted into novitiate, made my first profession of vows and the day one of my best friends died. This scripture reminds me of God’s presence and the promise of hope and life.
When women and men hear the call of God to consecrate their lives in love as religious sisters, brothers, priests or as lay ministers, it is an affirmation of belief in and a sign of courageous hope, which was reinforced this past weekend at the Religious Formation Congress. Fittingly, it was entitled, “Being Signs of Courageous Hope.” It was a gathering for young religious and those who walk with them as their mentors, teachers, and guides. In the course of the weekend, I witnessed great care, joy, wisdom, courage, discernment, and encouragement between the participants in small and great ways. It was the kind of weekend that keeps us going amidst the difficult times. It reminded me that God is still calling men and women to religious life and that in answering that call we are witnessing to the Hope that Jeremiah prophesied so long ago. He did not say it would be easy, but he did say that we are called to a, “future full of hope.”
Come and be a part of that future.