A Triduum of Preparation & Praise
This coming Sunday, I, along with approximately one hundred others in our province, will renew my covenant as an Associate of the Sisters of Christian Charity - North American Eastern Province, what we call Companions of Pauline.
This year, the convergence of the event with the date of April 30th is particularly meaningful. In addition to April 30th being the official feast of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt since her beatification by Pope John Paul II in 1985, April 30, 2006 is the 125th anniversary of Mother Pauline's death/birth into eternal life. Further, while the Eastern Province Associate Program was inaugurated in 1995 and I was part of the first group, due to extenuating family circumstances, I did not make my first covenant in person until 1996. So, as I renew my convenant this year, I am, in a way, marking my tenth anniversary, my 10 year jubilee!
In 1996, when I prepared to pronounce my covenant publicly for the first time, I spent the day before in service to the community, working with a small group of fellow Associates tending to the Retreat House and the large group of retreatants while the Sisters participated in a Province Assembly Day. That night, I had the blessed privilege of staying overnight at the Motherhouse and following dinner entered into my own night of private personal Retreat. In subsequent years, the preparation has been varied often fueled by the responses that emerged in my own annual self-reflection.
This year I have decided to engage in a Triduum of Preparation and Praise which begins today. Life around me is busy and since I cannot go to "an out of the way place" I will enter in to the cloister garden of my heart. To give some structure to my efforts, I've developed a program of reflection for my triduum.
Viewing the passage from the prophet Micah -- " ... to act with justice, to love tenderly, to walk humbly with God..." -- as the parallel expressions of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience professed by religious, I've decided to take this passage for my Triduum meditations, one element for each of the three days.
In opting to make a Triduum, I have decided to adapt the Holy Hour of Adoration gifted to us by Blessed James Alberione, founder of the Institutes of the Pauline Family including the Daughters of Saint Paul. I will stretch out Blessed James' method of adoration by paralleling day one to part one, day two to part two, and day three to part three of the Holy Hour.
The reflection theme I've chose for today is:
... to love tenderly ..."