First vows in Bogota

First vows in Bogota

How joyful are the vigils of the great feasts. For the vows of Juliana we gathered for Vespers-adoration, where there was an atmosphere of joy, friendship, affection, sharing, reminiscence, where Jesus exposed for the adoration of the community occupied the central place.

We had spent several weeks preparing the songs, the arrangement of the chapel, the Mass shared with the Sisters of the Residence, the live-streaming of the ceremony to share it with her family and the communities of the Province, in short, those details that involve all of us and make us feel a strong sense of community. It was a beautiful preparation for the feast.

June 29, the feast of St. Peter and S. Paul was chosen for the event. As if God himself had chosen it. What eloquent readings for this Eucharist! The celebrant was Fr. Victor Martínez SJ, a great friend of ours, who managed to overcome the difficulties imposed by the isolation that we are experiencing because of the coronavirus.

I want to pause over some points that touched our hearts and challenged all of us. When he addressed Juliana saying, “You are not going to make vows of poverty chastity and obedience to a set of rules, but as a response of love to Jesus Christ. And you must live those vows with “healthy realism,” “with courage” and “with commitment.”

Healthy realism, with feet on the ground in the here and now, so that like a prophet-mystic you can light other fires from the passionate fire of your love for Jesus.

Live your vows with courage, for they have always been countercultural, and modern logic challenges them. That can be hard in daily practice.

Live them with great commitment and enthusiasm, knowing that they are not a mere personal effort, but that they are the response to the love of Jesus Christ that leads you to live in solidarity with your Sisters, with your family, with everyone that you come into contact with, with the poor, showing this passionate love for the Kingdom.

These words were not only for Juliana, but for all the Sisters, to live them, as Mary and St. Raphaela did, in the encounter with the Mystery of God in the silent simplicity of each day.

Josefina Castillo aci