Not long ago we had the Mass for Sister Miriam's golden jubilee...fifty years of professed Dominican cloistered religious life. Yesterday we had the community celebration for her jubilee--a day of games, festivities, food and laughter. How can anyone spend fifty years "behind the walls" of a cloister, seeing the same people day after day, praying with them, eating with them, having fun (we hope!) with them? We think the answer is love. Not just love for your sisters, not just love for the Order, but most of all love for Jesus Christ, who has called us together as a community. We celebrate him every day, at Mass, through our adoration of Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, through our times of communal and private prayer, and through our expressions of charity toward our sisters and those we meet from the world outside our cloister. Love is more than a warm feeling in your heart--love is expressed concretely in action and has to go on being expressed every day, especially at times when it hurts to love. Jesus is our example in this too, as in all things. But love does not mean simply suffering. In the Gospel of John we hear Jesus tell us, "As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love...I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." (John 15:9, 11) Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and a characteristic of love. If we have love for Jesus and love for each other, truly we will be full of joy, whatever happens!
And on a lighter note, here are some pictures from yesterday's joyful celebration!
Sr. Maria Guadalupe and Sr. Miriam exchange a big jubilee hug!
Sr. Miriam, Sr. Mary Lucy, and Sr. Mary John are enjoying the program!
Sr. Miriam happily displays her beautiful community gift: a golden rosary!