15 years and counting...!

On this day, 29th of September 1998, early in the afternoon, accompanied by my Mam and Sr. Brid, I made my way to the Divine Master Convent in Dublin to begin my official discernment and formation with the Disciples of the Divine Master. It is amazing to believe that 15 years have passed. In those 15 years so much has happened and I can truly say, it has been pure grace. My siblings have grown up and are no longer the 8,10,13 and 15 year olds that I left when I went to the convent. Life goes on and we journey continuously toward our eternal Home.

Although the Sunday liturgy takes precedence over the liturgical memorial of the Archangels, the feast is one very close to my heart.So today I celebrate the Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael: Archangels. In my vocational journey, the angels and archangels have always been close to me. The Catechism explains: "From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. 'Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.' Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God" (n. 336).

I entered the community on their feastday, I began novitiate on this feastday and then in 2004, I professed my vows on the feast of the Guardian Angels. Today’s commemoration has given me a programme of life, once which was re-echoed on my family’s wish for me on my Profession card, an augural wish of ‘health, happiness and holiness’.

“Who is like God”: St. Michael the Archangel-
The name Michael means "who is like God." St. Michael's will is focused, immovable, and entirely driven toward accomplishing goodness: he is a protector of souls, and wields his unrelenting sword of righteous justice against the poisonous and vindictive aspirations of the one who is known as a liar from the beginning. He reminds me that I am called to HOLINESS of life and that the battle against evil is a constant one.

"God Is My Strength":St. Gabriel the Archangel-
Gabriel means "God is my strength." St. Gabriel announced the most wonderful and life-changing event ever to occur in the universe, the coming of the Incarnate God into the world through the womb of our precious Virgin Mary. How many times have I meditated upon the mystery of the Annunciation, of God’s annunciation to me! Mary’s fiat has become the model of ‘fiat’ for disciples throughout the centuries and I am no different. I continue to say: “let it be done according to your will”. This is the ‘fiat’ in the messiness of life. I can still feel the joy and the apprehension in saying ‘here I am, Lord’ and hear the gentle whisper of the Lord who says ‘do not be afraid, I am with you’.

"God Is My Health"
Raphael means "God is my health." St. Raphael is one of seven angels "who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord" (Tob 12:15). The meaning of Raphael's name reflects the fact that he touched Tobit's eyes in order to heal them of blindness.In the third antiphon of the Office of Readings, we are reminded that Raphael stands before God: "I am the angel Raphael, I stand in the presence of the Lord; as for you, bless the Lord, and proclaim his wonderful deeds."
Throughout the years my health hasn’t been perfect but it has allowed me to recall that it is the Lord who gives the gift of health, sickness, life and death. Health is a gift and our body is to be treated with dignity and respect. My life is in His hands and as far as I allow it to stay there and be healed of any blindness which prevents me in seeing, I can praise his name and serve Him in his brothers and sisters.

On this Feast day, I thank our Lord for the Archangels who have often entered into history as messengers in God's providential plan of salvation. God humbled himself to enter into my life too and call me to be his Bride. On this day 15 years ago, I made a concrete step in finding that fullness of life which He had planned for me. I was not sure where it would lead me but in faith, I took that huge step. This first faith is an immature faith—a good start, but not a good place to stay. We need to grow in our faith. As one man said to Jesus, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24). Every day, I ask the Master for an increase of faith. It has been a rocky road at times but He has not left me on my own. If God asks, He will give you the grace to do something. Yes, the Lord never leaves us on our own and places the right people at the right time upon our pilgrim way. I see the various people who clearly influenced and continue to influence my own faith journey in positive and powerful ways.

On this special day, I remember many people, my family, community, friends and acquaintances in prayer and I pray for your intentions. You have helped me become who I am now. May you be blessed for your support to this little sister who strives to be a ‘healthy, holy and happy’ sister and faithful witness to the miracles that God can do with each one of us if we let Him.

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