On September 8, 2016, as we celebrated the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we also welcomed yet another novice into our community, Sr. Hillary Kunz. Below is an excerpt from the reflection Mother Maria Michael gave to our community the evening before Sr. Hillary’s clothing.
Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of the Blessed Mother. She plays an extraordinary part in God’s plan of redemption. We celebrate her birth into time, into life, the life of the world which God created and said, “It is very good.” In her life too, prophecies will be fulfilled, “the sword shall pierce your own heart.” And also, “He has looked on his servant in her lowliness, henceforth all ages will call me blessed.” And there are many more. All of these are held in the child Mary, fresh from her Mother’s womb. Little did anyone realize the moment she was born, the impact this little girl would have on the world, would have on humanity.
Tomorrow there will be another birth… Hillary you will be born anew because you are leaving behind the world you knew well, that you were comfortable with. And yet you have been called out of the world in order, like Mary, as it says in the liturgy, “Let us celebrate with devotion the birth of Mary, the ever Virgin Mother of God whose splendid life has illumined the Church.” We are called in our lives to illumine the Church. We are called to be lanterns, we are called to be God’s light in the world. It cannot happen unless we are born anew. And so tomorrow, Hillary will be stripped, in a sense, of her own clothing and will be given the habit of our community. She is going to profess her desire to be a part of this community, to be one lamp with us all and that will require being born again.
Hillary, you are going to be learning everything anew from a whole different perspective. It’s one in which you are seriously stepping into this life. You are stepping in to be grounded. You are stepping in to listen more clearly to the Word of God. Because that Word is already in you and it now will take form in the life totally dedicated to Christ. A novice begins to see things anew, more seriously the things you have sensed God is calling you to, you now grasp. The things you have lived you now embrace because you’re looking at a life that is stable until you pass into eternity. That is what you are being called to. And we rejoice with you.