Maria and Samina Renew Their Vows
By Nasreen Daniel
We started the celebration by saying the evening prayers in our garden — this time on the chairs and around a decorated table there were a candle and flowers from our own garden. During the summer, we often say evening prayers in the garden when it is cool outside, but the decorated table made this a special occasion.
The Mass in our chapel started at 4 p.m. this past Oct. 27 with Psalm 63, “My soul thirsts for you,” sung in Punjabi. We invited participants to bring into the presence of God any one or any worry they wished. The intentions brought before God were a troubled world, blasphemy law, fear of Christians, terrorists and ISIS, members of the Loretto Community especially those who are sick and in need of prayers, those suffering from Ebola and polio, and all suffering women and children.
The first reading was from I Am The Way, Part 1: Following Christ, 6-8.
Through this reading, the spirit of our founders was invoked to guide Loretto into the traditions that have been inherited. The reading also was a reminder that hardships are no new phenomena to Loretto. The reading also inculcates values and charisms of justice and peace and frontier living.
Father Khalid Rashid Asi, the Mass celebrant, said that we live in a part of the world where we face daily intolerance, prejudice and injustice. This kind of situation can discourage us and make our commitment weak, unstimulated and unexcited.
We are followers of Christ, who walked to his own death. He taught us that by his death he saved the lives of many. We, too, have committed to be cohorts of Christ.
A plowman who looks back makes his lines crooked. The crooked lines tell about our own indecisiveness and mislead those who are looking for a line to follow. In spite of the hardships of our situation in which we live, we have to make our lines straight and look at the one who set an example for us.
After Communion, Maria Daniel and Samina Iqbal renewed their vows and I, as a delegate of Pearl McGivney, received the vows.
After receiving the vows, I read from Hidden in the Same Mystery: Thomas Merton and Loretto. This passage was part of Merton’s “Comments on the Vows.”
He talks about three elements for the vows: First, pronouncing of the vows; second, dedication of one’s life to the following of Christ; and third, incorporation into a religious community.
After Mass, a festive dinner was served, but the celebration did not end. It continued on the other side of the world when the rest of the Loretto Community woke up in the USA.