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Living the Vows Today

Sr. Jackie Bates Final Vow Service July 26, 2014

Living the vow of chastity is living a life rooted in God's love. Chastity guides me in my intimate relationships with God and others. I try to witness to the priority of God in my relationships. This involves every part of my life: the way I eat and drink, work and play, sleep and rest, speak and remain silent. In community life it involves fidelity, tenderness, humility, forgiveness, sensitivity and welcome. Chastity is my response to God's desire to make a home in my heart. I feel an ever deepening call to be still and to wait for God without anything to show, to prove or to argue. It's letting go and letting be, that surrender to God's love.

The vow of obedience calls me to a deep listening with my whole being and discerned response. I listen to the voice of the Spirit within me, life itself, community and the person in front of me.  I find that to listen with my whole being I have to take some time alone for personal reflection and consideration. This allows me to be more open and sensitive to the ways God calls me to be together with others.

The vow of poverty calls me to a surrender of my love even as I recognize my own poverty that blesses me. I am poor and can, therefore, be hospitable when I know in the very core of my being that everything is gift. I am poor when I embrace my own darkness as truly mine, and yet know that I am loved; when compassion transforms my word and needs; when I am able to se the nothingness in all things and that leads me to an authentic hunger for God; and when I embrace others in their poverty.
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