All of us remain, always, on a spiritual pilgrimage.  Sister Faith Anthony’s reflections on the aftermath of her life profession in the Order of St. Helena speak eloquently to this:

On January 4, the Order of St Helena elected me to make my Life Vow, and I did so on March 19 at the Church of the Good Shepherd.

The service was lovely, and so was the reception. I was in the seventh heaven that night. Yet I had not really expected any change. Yes, now I am given the big cross, and the ring, but I had been under the temporary Vow for three years, and I had been living in the same Order for five years.

However, the next morning, when I entered the chapel, I felt, “This is different!” I felt that I had crossed an invisible threshold, and I am not the same person as the day before.

What I sensed was unspoken “acceptance” and “welcome.” God confirmed the call. I said “Yes” and the Order said “Yes.” Now I am in full service for God with these sisters for my life. The sisters received me as one of theirs in spite of all my shortcomings, trusting God’s intention and my willingness to grow. This is a pure gift. And I realize that what I vowed is a far deeper commitment than I had imagined, and now I have a huge responsibility to the Order.

The honeymoon period did not last long, (more…)

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So, I’m using their Breviary.  And today is the day they celebrate the founding of their order (said celebration started last night with first Vespers, but as I often do, I missed that).  I’ve been impressed by all I’ve seen so far.  So I thought I could at least share the collect for this celebration:

O gracious God, through whose Beloved One we are able to know ourselves also as beloved, we thank you for the nine women whose vision and trust in you brought this community into being:  Clothe us, who have been called together by you, with the garments of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; let the message of Christ in all its richness inform our lives, that true forgiveness, gratitude and love may grow among us and show forth in our lives and service; through Jesus Christ who has taken our humanity into your divinity and lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, now and for ever.  Amen.

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