Take this Ring

 “It is Christ’s fidelity that is most beautiful.” - Fr. Boniface Hicks, O.S.B.

Almost every woman, either as a girl or a young lady, has dreamed about her wedding day and honeymoon.  In the midst of the details of the perfect dress, color schemes and romantic destinations, is a fundamental desire to be romanced and know that she is loved.

I would be remiss if I said I have not had some of these same musings.  My ideal honeymoon included a cabin in the woods in the mountains of Colorado.  Forget about the tourist attractions and being on the “go, go, go”; I wanted a place where I could just “be” with my spouse.

About a week before my pre-vow retreat (a time set aside to prepare for professing final vows) I followed a last-minute inspiration of the Holy Spirit and signed out a hermitage on our property.  Early on in the retreat, I was sitting on the porch of this small cabin that is nestled down in the woods.  As I sat there sipping hot water (Franciscan tea), listening to the birds, and watching the sun rise, Jesus reminded me of my dreams.  The rest of the week he fulfilled my deepest desires. 

As Jesus and I spent time “being” together on strolls
through the woods, watching the fireflies and listening to thunder roll through the hills, he spoke deeply to my heart that he will always be with me and that he is never going to leave.  His words telling me that I would not be alone were a healing balm poured on a wound in my heart.  In the midst of my quirks, mistakes, limitations, brokenness, and sinfulness, Jesus desires to be with me and wishes to espouse himself to me forever. 

“He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end” (Jn. 13:1).  Throughout the week of retreat, Jesus revealed to me his deeply personal, romantic, passionate love for me.  But what he really showed me was that his love is so much more than just the sweetness of romantic love—he LIVES his passion.  By embracing and carrying the cross, being beaten, mocked and spit upon, nailed to a tree, and finally handing over his spirit in death, he fully expresses his  passionate love for me. He chose to love me beyond consoling feelings that come and go.  By living out his words, “This is my body given up for you,” and dying a death that I deserve, I KNOW, in the deepest part of my heart, that I am loved.

And what is the response that I can give to the totality of his self-gift?  For me, there is only one—my entire life.  Through professing the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience, I freely choose him.

And that is all he desires.  He knows my weaknesses and how easily I turn away from him and yet he longs only for me and my “yes”.  As our retreat director, Fr. Boniface, told us, “It is Christ’s fidelity that is most beautiful.”  I don’t have to have it all together. That’s not what he is asking.  He only wants me to remain with him, as I am able.  And together we will bring about the Kingdom of God.

In our profession ceremony for solemn vows, we receive a ring.  As I wear it, I will recall Jesus’ words to me, “Take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity” and his vows to me to love me to the end, into eternity.  And I will also recall our Reverend Mother’s words as she places it on my finger, “…keep faith with your Bridegroom so that you may come to the wedding feast of eternal joy.”

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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. What a beautiful post! Thank you for giving your life over to a spiritual union with Christ! Your witness & faithfulness is a blessing to a deeply wounded world! I pray that Mr. Iaffaldano who posted above would come to understand the beauty of one (either woman or man) who gives their live in totality to Our Lord & His Church as you have! Yes, God has joined man & woman in the beauty of sacramental matrimony...but He has also blessed those who follow His call to live in a consecrated or ordained spiritual union with him as spiritual mothers (nuns, sisters) & fathers (priests, monks, brothers) of many! Christ's blessings & peace to you!

  2. Carlo
    That is your interpretation .. These are strong women who have recognized and accepted their calling.. Be happy for them and trying praying for their choice not yours


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