flowers in a garden

For as you know, the religious orders in the Church of God are like the flowers in a garden each has its own use, its own duty, its own special perfume and is own beauty. All are good because all have the Divine sanction. All are useful because each has is own special work. Hence let us love and care for all as far as it is in our power to do so and let us rejoice in their joys and sorrow in their griefs. - Margaret Anna Cusack, General Letter to the Congregation, April 1887

I think our groovy foundress Margaret Anna Cusack would be thrilled to know that her new novices are starting out learning, praying and celebrating with novices from 7 other religious communities in our Intercommunity Novitiate program.

We just finished our first series of classes. Next week we have off, and I think while each of us will enjoy our time off, we will also miss visiting with each other to share our joys and sorrows.

Yesterday was our last History of Religious Life class. Each religious community gave a presentation on how life changed in their institute after the Second Vatican Council. Our homework over the past few weeks has been to interview some of the elder members of our communities to gather this oral history. It was wonderful to hear their stories.

I would have to say that Margaret Anna was right ... each religious community has its own use, its own duty, its own special perfume and its own beauty. Together we make up the bouquet of the church. A nice analogy and a good thing for us all to remember. I think it applies not only to religious communities, but to different "factions" of the church as well. Progressive, liberal, moderate, orthodox and whatever other labels one wishes to use for oneself or others. We each have a part of the truth and Christian experience, but it is only together that we become the Catholic church.

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