As I sit today to write this post, it seems that our Sr. Stephanie has given me the best way to begin. In deed... wow.
Friday marked the end of my first month of novitiate. Can you believe it? It's already been a month? I can hardly believe it. One of our Marianist brothers, Bro. Mike Sullivan SM, always tells me, "Take advantage of this year, Nicole. It's going to fly by." How right he is! If the whole year goes by like this, it'll be over before I know it. So, I had better allow God to make this year what it needs to be!
As I reflected on Friday what the first month has been like or what has happened, I had a little trouble putting it into words. This has been a month of self discovery like none other in my life thus far. The question is, however, has this self knowledge led me to a deeper understanding of who God is and how God works in my life? In a word, yes. Can I explain it? Not well. *smile*
On my Facebook.com page I have a list of various quotes. One of the quotes from St. Francis of Assisi is, "If God can work through me, he can work through anyone." Another quote that comes to me is said to be from St. Augustine, but no one can say for sure. "God writes straight with crooked lines." God works wonders... in my life and in the lives of those around me. And usually, it's in spite of us... not because of us. You know what I mean? God has blessed me abundantly. Why? It's certainly not because it's deserved. It's because it's who God is. What a fascinating point to ponder (well, for me it is).
Yesterday we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Sr. Stephanie's and Sr. Rose Marie's first vows. And what a celebration it was! We had a beautiful liturgy... with over 275 people present! Fr. Quentin Hakenewerth, SM was the celebrant and homilist for the liturgy. He came in from Mexico especially to celebrate this milestone. His homily was great... engaging... spirited... and just "right on." I'm a little biased, though, because I'm such a fan of his numerous books.
After the homily, Sisters Stephanie and Rose Marie renewed their vows. It was so moving. Sr. Stephanie teared up a little... Now, I'm not one to cry, but I just couldn't help myself. I couldn't help but think, "In two years, I'll profess the same vows." That, my friends, is incredible.
At the end of the liturgy, Sr. Stephanie spoke to the assembly. And she started off with, "Wow God! You did it again." And throughout her comments she kept saying, "Wow, God!" I was moved. It's because I could say the same for my own life... "Wow, God!"
Anyway... after the liturgy, of course we had a party. It was in the University Center at St. Mary's Univ. It was full of people... great, live Hawai'ian music (you see, Sr. Stephanie is from Hawai'i and her nephew has his own Hawai'ian band here in San Antonio)... good food... lots of laughter and the sharing of stories. We even had Hawai'ian dancers! You just can't beat it. What a beautiful day it was.
The only thing one can really say at the end of this weekend, and for me at the end of my first month of novitiate is, "Wow, God! You've done it again."
Many blessings on your week!