A "Bride of Christ" shower
I recently wrote Shannon and told her I wanted to do a blog post regarding her "bride of Christ" shower. She explained is so well I thought I would let you read her reply.
So wonderful to hear from you! I'll be happy to see you and the other sisters soon. :) I am doing well here as these last 2 days at home unfold, and there is peace. I am very thankful for the amazing graces Jesus is granting me as I prepare to return. However, you are definitely right in calling these last few days "intense," for so they are! I'm sure you know all about it! :)
Sure you can share some information about the shower on the blog! I've been to a couple of Bride of Christ showers before with 2 of my friends who are now religious sisters, so that's where I got the idea. It is like a bridal shower in just about every respect except that the "husband to be" is Jesus. :) It's a great way to bring everyone together, to answer questions for family and friends who have them, and to hopefully help them feel more comfortable with my decision. Also, it was wonderful to have so many people who supported me there. It helped strengthen me for the difficult leaving process.
I invited women friends and family members- everyone who would normally attend a wedding shower. Since my family had been so busy, two of my very good friends took care of planning for food and Invitations.They sent out a list of some of the things I needed before entering. (So I received everything I needed in abundance from my friends and family as wedding gifts!) And I had a pile of some of my things set aside to give away to each of my friends (things that I knew they would enjoy.)You know she's really "head over heals" in love with our Lord when she gives away her tea pot!
We set up our family room and dining room especially for the shower. I put out some of my information packets and pamphlets about the Passionist Nuns and contemplative life. I also put out some of my paintings, drawings, and pictures I have that point toward my Passionist vocation. One of my friends gave me a copy of my poem "In Losing Myself I Find Myself with You" decorated in a beautiful white frame with white rose paper. We passed this around for everyone to read.
We had time for everyone to visit, eat, and have cake and ice cream. (My friend baked a lovely yet simple and delicious homemade wedding cake.) Naturally, they all were curious about what's been going on with me over the past several months and how I came to this decision. With this in mind, we had about 45 minutes for me to sit down in the middle of our gathering and explain some of the details of my story. I also tried to answer some of the questions they had about different aspects of religious life. Afterwards, we had more time to visit. After this, I unwrapped the gifts. Next, another friend (who is a talented musician) was able to lead us in some praise and worship music together. Finally, the group prayed over me, and I prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for all of the people who were there. Afterwards came farewells, good wishes, and blessings...
Please keep Shannon and her family in your prayers. They are on the road now - about a 20 hour drive from Houston to Whitesville, KY.
Please join us in thanking God for two postulants. We are so very grateful...His mercy endures forever!
She has one other brother whose picture I'll have to get in on a future blog post.
In Losing Myself I Find Myself With You
How you allure me!
There is no other
who could draw me—
flame thirsting for water,
longing to be quenched.
We are two,
distinct and free to choose.
The root of my fire (born of you)
meets your streams of water.
O the passion,
the pain of expiation!
I HAVE FOUND YOU!
upon two wooden beams
where two ‘fiats’ meet.
No greater love is there than this:
to lay down one’s life,
to freely become prisoner for love.
In losing myself, I find myself with you.
I marry you.
~Excerpt Shannon's poem