Today I celebrate my one-year anniversary of the profession of my first vows. I revisited that special day in my memory and was transported back to Wisconsin and the convent in La Crosse. There were sisters, family and friends, joy and love that was overflowing all that day. There was nature inside - and a spectacular summer storm outside. I have so many happy memories of that day, but in the center of it all, my vows, those were my greatest joy.
As I considered how I might honor this special day, I decided spending time with my sisters in community with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration would be just the perfect way to celebrate! There was great conversation, laughter and questions about my time here in Bolivia. Stories of eating (including armadillo!), cooking, traditions, and the real and sometimes hard work that is part of life here, capture some of the things we talked about. Most importantly, seeing the religious sisters that I am blessed to share life with was, indeed, the best possible celebration! Thanks sisters for being a part of my life!
Someone asked me to share wisdom from the first year of my vowed religious life. Although I didn't have a quick answer, I found some wisdom after a bit of reflection. I think I would say that my greatest learning this year has been how much less religious life is about what you are doing and more about who you are being. As I have transitioned to new places and experienced life in ways I have not expected, I have the gift of focusing my energy on being my "God-self" or the person God has created me to be. Before religious life, this came second to career, family, friends and other things that were higher on my priority list than they should have been. It seems a luxury to be able to bring "me" to this world, but such a joy as well! Muchas gracias, FSPA, por la alegra y honor de esta vida! Bediciones!
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