Monday, November 19, 2012

ethereal to immanent: Journey, Story, & Prayer

Two months ago today, I became a Sister of St. Joseph. And honestly, I haven't posted nearly as much as I would have liked in that time. But this time isn't about blog posts. Be assured that I'm writing; it's just a matter of what does and doesn't make it to the internet.  In many cases, the pen stays to paper in my journals but isn't making the virtual jump.  On this day though, there is something that I've been wanting to share (and is about 2 months overdue) and a reflection that this anniversary gives me the opportunity to share.

I spent this afternoon sharing with a group of seniors from Mount Saint Joseph Academy, the all-girl high school sponsored by our congregation, as a part of their Vocation & Human Sexuality course.  I can't speak to their experience of my sharing but know that to have the privilege to share my story (both of faith journey and vocation) was a great blessing for me.  

As with any story, this story changes each time that I tell it. It depends on who I am sharing it with, what the purpose of the sharing is, and what at the time seems most pressing to be told. Anyway though that it is told, it is like making a straight line out of what on paper surely does not appear to be straight. But there is even blessing in that.  Our stories are not designed to be ironed out; they take on the wrinkles and creases of time and we simply need to take them out every now and then, so that they might see the light of day and so that the silent influence that they have had on us all along can go from ethereal to immanent.  Sharing provides the opportunity for that and I for one am a firm believer in the power of story to unite us to God and to one another.

I won't go into the details of the day here, but be assured that in the light of day my journey still has much to teach me and God is certainly using my experiences past and present to form me.  As I spoke to the group, I took note of the draw that I felt deep within myself to this formation. Grace has brought me safe thus far and in sharing the grace of this journey I felt at ease, assured that it all points back to Christ and in so doing, gives me life... honest, true, authentic... a life worth living.

And so with that, on this anniversary I share a prayer that probably should have made its way here on September 19th, my initiation date, but has taken its time in coming.  It is the closing prayer from my initiation ceremony, a prayer that was given to me this summer in Boston and which resonated deep within me.  It is the prayer that led me into this experience and as I pray it for myself, I also pray that it might ring true for each one of you.

 God of our hearts, your love has the power to transform.

  Set my heart on fire, let your loving flames consume all that I am and transfigure me from the inside out. Quench my thirst for You alone. Give me the grace to surrender to your work in me, that everything else that occupies me might be taken away and who I am may be set in Christ.  Ignite your fire deep within me and let it burn in me and through me each new day.     Amen.


  1. Wonderful prayer. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. You hit the nail once more, Colleen, and I am so grateful to be the beneficiary of your ponderings. Thank you and blessed Thanksgiving!