Consecrate them in the truth

Your word is truth.

Throughout the centuries the Holy Spirit has raised up many different forms of consecrated life – which can be compared to a plant, with many branches, which sinks its roots into the Gospel and brings forth abundant fruit in every season of the Church’s life. (cf VC 5).

When reflecting on our vocation as Dominican nuns and how we try to live the motto of our Order: TRUTH, I began to understand our consecration as being set apart for Truth.  This truth is not an abstraction or even some dogma of the Church – rather it is the Person of Christ, God-with-us, to whom we give ourselves. He is the living Word of God, to which every other word refers.  On the eve of His death He prayed: “Consecrate them in the truth” – i.e.  make us one with Christ, bind us to Christ, draw us into himself.  Faith teaches us that we are God’s creatures, made in his image and likeness, endowed with an inviolable dignity, and called to eternal life.  It is in this truth – this mystery of faith – that we have been ‘consecrated’(cf. Jn17:17-19), first in Baptism and then by religious profession, and it is in this truth that we are called to grow, with the help of God’s grace, in daily fidelity to his word, within the life-giving communion of the Church.

Yet how demanding is this path of consecration! It implies continual conversion, a sacrificial death to self which is the condition for belonging fully to God, a change of mind and heart which brings true freedom and a new breadth of vision. The one who loses herself, finds herself. When we dare to lose ourselves for the Lord, we come to experience the truth of these words.

In order to be immersed in the Truth, in Christ, we need to spend time in prayer and allow our friendship with him to deepen and also come to know him and his way of being, of thinking, of acting.  Prayer can  be described as a journey of personal communion with Christ, setting before him our daily life, our success and failures, our struggles and our joys – in a word, it is to stand before him, face to face. It is important that we constantly learn to pray with the Church – the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the choral recitation of the psalms all lead the contemplative nun deeper into Christ.  If we are inwardly united to the words of prayer, if we let ourselves be guided and transformed by them, we learn how to die in Christ that we might live with Christ in God.

To be immersed in God’s truth and thus in his holiness is not simply a setting apart but also includes the essential dynamic of existing for. Precisely because we are entirely given over to God, we are now there for the world – as Pope St John Paul II reminded us – since those who become the absolute property of God become God’s gift to all, the life of a nun is truly a gift set at the heart of the mystery of ecclesial communion accompanying the apostolic mission of those who exert themselves in proclaiming the Gospel.