At a recent Sunday afternoon liturgy at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Green Bay, WI, Bishop David Ricken and a full assembly recognized 41 women religious faithful in commitments of 50, 60, 70 and 75 years of consecrated life. Joy was brightly shining in the eyes of the celebrants from 8 Congregations: Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross, Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, Sinsinawa Dominicans, Sisters of St. Agnes, Sisters of Notre Dame, School Sisters of St. Francis and Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.
Loved by the Father, inspired by the Son and enlightened by the Spirit, the Sisters’ joy was contagious. Other community members, family and friends were caught up in the love of lives enduring in self-giving.
St. Bonaventure’s own prayer speaks to this kind of joy-filled love and service:
May my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee, Whom the angel desire to look upon, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savor; may it ever thirst for Thee, the fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the torrent of pleasure, the fullness of the house of God; may it ever compass Thee, seek Thee, find Thee, run to Thee, come up to Thee, meditate on Thee, speak of Thee, and do all for the praise and glory of Thy name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with ease and affection, with perseverance to the end; and be Thou alone ever my hope, my entire confidence, my riches, my delight, my pleasure, my joy, my rest and tranquility, my peace, my sweetness, my food, my refreshment, my refuge, my help, my wisdom, my portion, my possession, my treasure; in Whom may my mind and my heart be ever fixed and firm and rooted immovably. Amen.
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