Reflection at Sister Jodi Hart Triennial Profession
December 13, 2015
Anne Shepard, OSB
You have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self.
God did it again by surprising us with the perfect reading for vespers tonight!
Jodi has come before our community desiring to put off her old way of life to embrace more fully the monastic way of life in this Benedictine monastery. For anyone one to make dramatic changes in her 40's is a noble act of trust in God, trust in us and trust in herself.
St. Paul instructed the people of Colossae to “put on... compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Jodi, it has been your prayer and discernment, your persistence and your questioning, your silence and your conversations, your study and your service, all of these expressions of faith, that have led you to this evening.
The monastic way of life is one of discipline and virtue. You are agreeing to commit to a group of women who are serious about following Christ together. None of us is perfect. No one of us has all the answers. We all make many mistakes and hurt one another inadvertently. But we also work hard at forgiving and trying to get along. The grace of community and fidelity to common prayer and common meals are that which prompts us to serve others generously and joyfully. We reverence all people and things, share what we have, try to be satisfied with what we need not what we want, give witness to a different lifestyle than one obsessed with consumerism. Our obedience to the decisions made by the community is in stark contrast to the rugged individualism that so characterizes our society. We have rooted ourselves in the relationships of the sisters here and in doing so, our stability is in Christ and one another.
Today is Gaudate Sunday- the third week of Advent. This liturgical season is one of hope and patience awaiting the Prince of Peace. This evening you are embodying our vision statement “a future of hope created by living the Rule of St. Benedict as we respond to the needs of the times.” You give us hope, Jodi, much hope and we are joyful with you. You may count on our commitment of loving support and prayer as you continue your life’s journey with us as a vowed member. God bless you.