There’s an aura of unreality about today’s celebration of 50 or 60 years of religious profession. Actually, some Sisters are celebrating 51 and 61 years, because the jubilarians of 2020 needed to postpone their celebration 16 months due to the pandemic. In my mind, there’s a juxtaposition of “It’s finally here” and “Is this a mirage that looks real but moves farther away as we reach for it?” Well, I’ll put on my “new” dress that has hung in my closet for almost two years. I’ll renew my vows, a daily private practice for 51 years, but now in the presence of the other jubilarians, my religious community, and family and friends during the Eucharistic liturgy. Afterwards we’ll enjoy party food, laugh, cry, perhaps open some cards and gifts. Whatever may happen—and whether it feels real or not—it is a time to look back in gratitude and to live forward and inward. To look back and understand life backward, reflecting on the joys and trials of the journey and wonder at what they have taught. To live forward and inward for God’s purpose in my life.
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