Still on the Road … to Salvation :)

Sister Stefanie prays Lauds with Sisters Claudia (left), and Catherine Cleary (right).

After 6 years in this Benedictine community, I will make my Final Profession in July. I am living proof of St. Benedict’s words of wisdom: “The road that leads to salvation is bound to be narrow at the outset.” It’s been narrow at times, but I’m still on the road!

My Sisters have been instrumental in keeping me upright and moving in the right direction. They have always offered an understanding shoulder and a listening ear. They have become my new family, for which I am deeply grateful!

But this is no ordinary family. That is, while my Benedictine Sisters are here for me as companions, they are also here for and with me as prayer partners, scripture study mates, and seekers of God.

One of the books some of us are reading right now is The Road to Eternal Life, by Michael Casey, OSB. It’s the perfect book to be reading before my Final Profession, as it discusses purity of heart. St. Benedict says purity of heart is crucial to our relationship of God.

What does that mean?

Casey says it means our heart “is free of interior conflicts, a will that is single, undivided and constant.”

He also says this is not something that happens overnight, but is a process that happens slowly, over time, through practice. Its single purpose is “harmony of thought, word and action.”

This is where my road has sometimes been narrow. Interior conflicts in my soul and heart have impaired harmony, for sure. But I have come to understand – with the help of my Sisters – that prayer really IS my saving grace. Walking with Jesus, through and with my Sisters, has helped harmonize my thought, word and action … and widened my road considerably.

How does this relate to my Final Profession? Well, I am realizing we will never find purity of heart if we rely only on ourselves, in our own private apartments, in our own narrow lives. We must walk with Christ, through and with our community (whatever “community” means to each of us), to begin to achieve that harmony. Thank you, Benedictine Sisters, for walking with Christ through and with me.

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