Reflections before First Profession: Sr. Carly Paula, FSP

I never imagined it would fly by so fast. When I entered community life with the Daughters of Saint Paul as a postulant on September 22, 2011 so many of my sisters would comment, “These four years will go by so fast!” I remember thinking, “Yah sure, easy for you to say.” I had been waiting for what felt like forever already to finally enter, and now I had another four years of preparation before making my first vows to Jesus. That fire of love, of desire, makes it difficult to wait.  But oh how beautiful it is! I learned to sit in the waiting, to befriend the longing.  I came to see that right there, in the longing, is the mystery of my consecration. Jesus has invited me, in love, to step into his longing with him. St. Paul says all creation is groaning for the fullness of redemption. As a woman consecrated totally to God I am a witness to that reality—that the heavenly kingdom is real and is coming—and I stake my whole life on that truth. The very act of consecration exclaims the reality of the Kingdom of God!

I feel blessed to have a long line of holy Paulines on the path ahead of me who carried this same gift, the same fire and passion for sharing Christ’s Love to the extreme. In fact, this year marks 100 years of Daughters of Saint Paul going out in search of souls in order to draw them closer to Jesus who is the the true longing of every heart. Our hearts are stretched with a burning love to “go out” and proclaim Christ to the people of today. By our own longing we have become impelled to share Christ’s Love.

One of my sisters wants to bring an air horn, yes an air horn to profession to blow at the end of Mass. She was joking—but, seriously, what an image! Once that closing song ends and the air horn goes off—it’s game time for Jesus.  First Profession marks the beginning of my life bound to Christ and the real race for his glory.

So do I feel I am ready to make my first vows? NO. “Ready” would be like saying I am already perfect, that I have everything totally all together. So no, I will never be quite ready. It is Jesus who desires my consecration to him totally, despite my faults and failings. And so I respond to his Love with my “Yes” in total gratitude! And I can stand firm in my “Yes” because it is to the One whose love and faithfulness never fail. So let the race for His Glory begin!