Written on October 16, 2017
Sister made her Profession of First Vows. Each time we visit Carmel, I notice more of the beauty that is there. It sits on a hill and is surrounded by beautiful, quiet farmland. But this time it was the chapel.
We sat in the chapel on Friday afternoon, us, my sister’s family, our pastor, and forty of our friends, all who had sacrificed time and money to be there. It was quiet and dark. These vows are made somewhere in the monastery and not at the grille like her Clothing last year. About half way through, the bells rang out loud and clear to announce the Vows had been made. It was beautiful and overwhelming. A Mass of Celebration and visit in the speak room followed the next day. Every family present got to have a private visit and then we all crammed in together. My daughter, the Carmelite, spoke words of wisdom and encouragement. I was proud of her conviction and when her voice faltered because of the seriousness of it all, we all cried too.
It was amazing, all of it. But my heart is strangely heavy. After all had gone, we had our family visits. They were good. So good. She is sure this is her vocation. But she shared some of her sufferings and feelings about how hard this is. Driving away in the dark, I am thinking this was our hardest visit and goodbye yet. I am determined to pray more (not a strength) and make little sacrifices for her and to not forget what she has given up in answering this high call.
The joys, the sufferings, the heartache of separation, the great blessing of being a part of this wondrous Carmelite and cloistered life. God-willing, she will make a Final Vow in three years. For now, I’ll be thinking about the next letter and the next visit.