04 September 2015
Tuesday and Wednesday this week were days of special celebration for me. The 1st is my birthday and the 2nd of September is the 8th anniversary of my perpetual profession as a diocesan hermit. (I have lived as a hermit for 30 years and as a religious for 40 but these last 8 years have been especially blessed with a new kind of fruitfulness. God has been very gracious to me.)
My parish "daily Mass community" sang to me at Mass on the 2nd (we always do that with birthdays) and my pastor, hand resting on my shoulder, gave me a special blessing for the anniversary of profession:
O Lord, Holy Father, graciously confirm the resolve of your servant Laurel and grant that the grace of baptism, which she desires to be strengthened by the bonds of her religious profession, may produce in her their full effect so that she may render due worship to your majesty and spread with apostolic zeal the Kingdom of Christ
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
The prayer for increased resolution confirmed with the grace of God --- mirroring the elements of human dedication and divine consecration present in every definitive profession --- was an especially powerful petition for which I am most grateful.
Both days were wonderful (I heard from family and so many friends from high school onward), but John's blessing coupled with the reception and love of my parish community was the high point of these days for me
Posted by Sr. Laurel M. O'Neal, Er. Dio. at 11:08 AM