I know I said a few days ago that I would be too busy to blog for a bit. I have been, and still am (as you can tell by how late this is being posted). But over the past few days I haven't just been busy--I've been away from home. It's never a good idea, I think, to announce such things beforehand; plans can change, and I'd rather not advertise an empty house and dates away on the Internet. Which is why nine times out of ten when I say I'm too busy to blog, that's all it is--just general business, or other obligations claiming my attention. But the tenth time I may be enjoying the magic of scheduling posts, while actually being elsewhere.
And that was the case this past weekend, when I was here, gathered with many of my extended family members to celebrate the final profession of my sister, Sister Joan Marie of the Merciful Redeemer.
What a beautiful Mass that was, the Mass of my sister's profession! The music was simply glorious, the prayers moving, the whole ceremony awe-inspiring. My sister's happiness was palpable, as was the joy of her whole community; and when some special words were directed at my parents, whose love and support have been instrumental in my sister's discernment and living out of her vocation, I got a little teary-eyed. What a priceless and irreplaceable gift in the life of a child is the unconditional love, admiration, affection and support of her parents! Those of us who would be honored if God chose one of our children to serve Him as a priest or religious should remember that as we raise our children.
The celebration afterward, and indeed the whole weekend, was an occasion for joy. I was glad that my girls, in particular, got to observe for themselves how beautiful a life of service as a religious sister can be, and how much happiness and fun are part of a sister's life--they especially enjoyed the music session with violin, guitar, and a funny ballad written by one of the sisters which told the (mostly true) story of the convent's struggle with an armadillo and its rampage over their lovely gardens. They also enjoyed speaking with one young sister who loved C.S. Lewis's books, and we had fun borrowing my brother's computer to show the sisters these great pictures of the construction of the Dawn Treader for the upcoming movie.
As always, the time went by amazingly fast, and before we knew it we were heading home--with just enough time to take a deep breath, hit a few grocery stores, and prepare for my in-laws to arrive this coming Saturday. They'll be spending a week with us, so I may be scarce around here going forward as well. But this time, I'll actually be here! :)