Who Are These Dressed In White?

(Rev: 7, 14)

Well, Dominicans, of course!

On this great feast of All Saints we are happy to share with you that Sr. Lauren received the Dominican habit and the new name:

Sr. Maria Teresa of the Sacred Heart

Please pray for Sr. Maria Teresa on this joyous day and for her perseverance.

The novitiate sisters: Janlyn (aspirant), Sr. Mary Amata, Sr. Joseph Maria, Sr. Maria Teresa, Sr. Diana Marie

Sr. Mary Martin's Homily at the Vesitition Ceremony in the Chapter Hall

My dear sisters,

At the beginning of this ceremony we asked Sr. Lauren what she was seeking and she answered, according to the wonderful tradition of the Order; “God’s mercy and yours.” Once upon a time, we were all asked the same question and we all made the same reply. We all seek God’s mercy, without which we could not even exist, or believe or live this way of life. Our greatest consolation is that, in fact, we have already received God’s mercy in overwhelming abundance. Otherwise, we would not be able to seek it. “His mercy endures forever,” and its very existence begets in us the desire for it.

But then we must seek this same mercy from one another and extend it to one another. “Forgive us our trespasses,” we tell God every day and many times a day, “as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Our life and our salvation depend as much upon our mercy toward one another as they do upon the mercy of God. According to the Lord’s Prayer, God’s mercy will be given to us in the measure that we give it to our neighbor.

What does this mercy consist in? It obviously consists in forgiveness of the ways in which we all offend one another, most often unwittingly. It also consists in the patience and gentleness with which we bear with each other’s faults and limitations, being always mindful of our own faults and limitations. No human being has the infinity of goodness and perfection which is God’s.

This giving of mercy to one another in the light and warmth of God’s mercy is what makes us into a community, a family which Sr. Lauren is asking to be joined to, as the opening prayer states. The prayer goes on to beg God that he would “kindly grant that our life in common may be transformed into one of mutual love.” Without this mutual love, our life in common would not be worth living; with mutual love, it becomes a foretaste of paradise.

All this appears more fully in the Gospel we have just heard. “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” We are called upon every day in a variety of ways to lay down our lives for our sisters. It is Christ’s love within us that makes such sacrifice possible and it is such sacrifice that makes community possible. God has called us to this: “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit.” The Church and the Order are both counting on us to bear this fruit of radiant and grace-filled community life for the edification of all. We welcome Sr. Lauren to this life and to the mercy it contains.