Last Thursday, August 30th, about midday, I had a flashback. I saw myself walking into the Dominican Motherhouse in Great Bend, Kansas, with eagerness and not just a little trepidation, to begin my journey into vowed religious life as an Aspirant—about to join 23 others entering the same day. That was 62 years ago to the day, and nine of these 24 women continue living into the journey today as Dominican Sisters of Peace.
In those days, we began as Aspirants for about 3-4 months, then graduated to Postulants for about 6 months before becoming Novices for 2 years, Temporary Professed for 6 years, then Perpetual Profession until death. At the close of our initial 2-3 year formation process (focused more on prayer, study, and community), vowed life ushered us into living on mission, using our gifts in ministries to which each was called/sent.
Anniversaries, as well as transitions, tend to stir up significant memories, feelings, life reviews. Looking back over the 62 ensuing years, I felt gratitude fill my heart. Recalling how God has led our community (and me) to ways and places to serve the greater good—far beyond what I could ask or imagine—and to leave behind the narrow confines of our limited self-concepts, all I could say was THANK YOU to God and to my Dominican Community! My life has been so blessed!
So that same day when I came across Senator John McCain’s final statement in which he expressed his thanks to his “fellow Americans, and especially his fellow Arizonans” whom he gratefully served for sixty years, I resonated with his feeling that he was the luckiest man on Earth. Attributing his satisfaction to his loving family and his beloved America, he added:
“To be connected to America’s causes — liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people — brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.”
How true! ‘By serving good causes bigger than ourselves,’ by allowing Love to find full expression in us, we become all that we were created to be. Bearers of God, Images of God, designed for happiness.