Sr Maria Breidge - “Preferring nothing to the Love of Christ”

Go to content

Sr Maria Breidge - “Preferring nothing to the Love of Christ”

Dominican Nuns Ireland
Published by Dominican Nuns Ireland in News and Dominican Life · 16 July 2020
Tags: NewsVocationDominicanLife
We share with you the good news that Sr Maria Breidge has been accepted by our community to make her first Profession.  The following is a reflection by our prioress, Sr Mairéad, for the occasion.  References to the Scripture Readings are for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A.

“Preferring nothing to the Love of Christ” – Rule of St. Benedict

How providential that Sr Maria Breidge’s admittance to First Profession should fall on the eve of this particular Sunday - the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A - where the Readings could not be more appropriate and my theme for our Regular chapter- Preferring nothing to the love of Christ – equally appropriate.

The Gospel speaks of preferring Christ to parents, sons and daughters. It speaks of taking up one’s cross and following in the footsteps of Jesus and it speaks of losing one’s life for the sake of Christ. This is what Sr Maria Breidge and all of us are called to do – to prefer nothing to the love of Christ. I was very challenged by a section in his book, The Way of the Disciple, by Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, regarding taking up one’s cross when he said:
“The Christian life, above all the unconditional following of Jesus in the contemplative life, is either a humble re-enactment on a daily basis of Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection, or it is a sham.  Paradoxically, a contemplative’s vow of ‘stability’ ( even though we do not make such a vow, we still live in the same monastery all our life) means that that person can never settle down in ease and comfort, since the contemplative’s place of rest can only be Jesus’ self-sacrificing Heart, on which John rested. (John 13:23) - page 64.”  This I think is the reality for us all.

The second Reading speaks of Baptism and we know that profession of the evangelical counsels is a deepening of our baptismal consecration. As it says so beautifully in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ( number 916):
“The religious state is one way of experiencing a ‘more intimate’ consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ’s faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come.”

You, Sr Maria Breidge, I think  could possibly be compared with that hospitable woman in the first reading, who looked after the Prophet Elisha so well, seeing to his needs and comfort for the sake of his mission, and being rewarded without ever even seeking a reward. Perhaps the Lord is rewarding you for your generous involvement in Mary’s Meals, being one of the founding members of Mary’s Meals in Ireland and then instrumental in spreading it to other counties as well as involvement in other charitable parish projects,- perhaps He is rewarding you  with the gift of a contemplative vocation, inspiring in you the desire to ‘be’ with the Lord instead of ‘doing’ for the Lord.

As our Constitutions say in LCM 1.III “ Called by God, like Mary, to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his words, we are converted to the Lord, ………

VDq (no.5) goes on to say that “women’s contemplative life has always represented in the Church, and for the Church, her praying heart, a storehouse of grace and apostolic fruitfulness, and a visible witness to the mystery and rich variety of holiness.”

I will end with the beautiful words of psalm 88 and make it a prayer for you Sr Maria Breidge in a special way as you look forward to making first profession and indeed including all of us in this prayer:

“I will sing for ever of your love , O Lord;
through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth.
Of this I am sure that your love lasts for ever,
that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.
Happy the people who acclaim such a king,
who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,
who find their joy every day in your name
who make your justice the source of their bliss.
May the Lord bless you as you continue to serve him with your life, learning to give your ‘all’   and preferring nothing to the love of Christ.


©2024 , Dominican Nuns Ireland. All rights reserved. (Created with Incomedia WebSite X5.)
Back to content