Sr. Tracy Kemme, SC offers another one of her reflections, God of the Journey, in her series for the blog The Future of Charity
Yesterday, I witnessed two college friends enter into the covenant of marriage. The beautiful Mass took place in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception on the campus of our alma mater, the University of Dayton.
Appropriately celebrated on the feast of the Epiphany, it was a day filled with light. There are few things more powerful and heart-warming than watching two people commit their lives to one another in Christ.
This afternoon, our congregation gathered in the chapel at the Motherhouse to celebrate the feast day of our foundress, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. During this Mass, Sisters renew their vows, and Associates renew their commitments. For the first time, I was able to stand with all of my Sisters and renew the vows that I professed this past June. What a joy!
Two different vocations; one faithful God at the heart of each of them.
The celebrant at my friends’ Saturday wedding focused his homily on the theme of “journey.” Several times throughout this past weekend, I found myself in awe at how God is made manifest through our varied vocations and diverse journeys, all intertwined with one another.
I saw it in the love between the new married couple and their families. Tears were shed and laughter echoed throughout the weekend during walks down the aisle and wedding toasts. I loved catching glimpses of the parents of the bride and groom, beaming with pride and filling with emotion as they watched the children they raised now form their own family.
I saw it in my college friends who are now spouses, and in some cases, parents. It was beautiful to witness the light in one friend’s eyes when she said how much she loves being a mother or the quiet joy in another’s eyes when she talked about her first year of marriage. I saw it when a friend, a new mom, left the dancefloor to pump breastmilk for her little girl and when another friend was lovingly attentive to his wife, who was feeling sick most of the day.
I saw it in the priest, a friend of the groom, who led an absolutely beautiful liturgy. He is a young guy, full of energy for his vocation. His down-to-earth manner, kindness, and insight filled the Mass with warmth.
I saw it today at our Elizabeth Seton celebration when we honored three women with our annual Elizabeth Seton Award. One works in health care for the underserved, and the other two work to end human trafficking. Their gifts and commitment have made such an impact in our city, and it seems that it just flows naturally from who they are.
And, I saw it, as I always do, watching my fellow sisters and associates process up to receive the Eucharist during Mass. I find myself filled with wonder as I look at each of their faces and think of all that each one uniquely is and does. So many beautiful journeys are represented there.
When we pause to notice, it is simply a delight to watch another human being live her or his God-given journey with commitment and love. Isn’t it? Our journeys are not perfect, easy, or glamorous, but they are ours, and they are sacred. Not every day brings the thrill of a wedding or the joy of renewing vows, but it is in the stuff of daily life that the journey becomes real.
As we begin this new year, I give thanks for our God who comes alive to us in the billions of journeys unfolding around the world simultaneously, no two of which are alike.
I ask for the grace that each of us may see the unrepeatable beauty in the journey that we walk, knowing that God is the beating heart of every vocation.
[Tracy Kemme is a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati. Author of the blog, Diary of a Sister-in-Training, Tracy is excited about the future of religious life! She currently ministers at the Catholic Social Action Office in Cincinnati and as the Latino Ministry Coordinator at a local parish.]