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t03"I felt a burning desire to love our Lord and serve him..." 
 -  Blessed Frances Schervier -

The years between 2002 and 2014 gave me time to think about making my definitive "yes" to God's call as a Franciscan Sister of the Poor. The journey to my final profession was marked by much happiness, many joys, achievements, moments of prayer and reflection, but also by many challenges.  I consider the challenges, to be of utmost importance because, though they often may discourage and sadden us, they help us mature in faith by rekindling our hope. They force us to fight to fulfill our dreams.

On Sunday, December 27, 2014 I took a big step, making a sacred alliance forever. Thus it has become a very special and memorable day for me. Our loving God gave me the most precious gift of my life:  the call to follow him, living as a Consecrated Religious.

Publicly professing my perpetual vows confirmed my desire to complete the journey I began 12 years ago.  While certainly I am not at the end of my journey, having only started up a new road, I wish to relive my commitment to the Lord by turning each day into my “yes” for the rest of my life.

Persisting in this “yes” means trusting in God’s Grace and my own strength -- and the intercession of all the saints I invoked on the day of my profession.  I know that I can count on the support and prayers of all my Sisters, of our Associates, relatives and friends so that I may remain faithful to the end. The road of life is such that we cannot travel it alone.  That is why this was the day to express my gratitude before God and to all the people who so kindly walked with me on my journey.

 

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Although there were not a large number of participants, something we had expected all along as it is a date in which families were traveling or receiving relatives from elsewhere.  However, seven priests were present at this celebration, a number that indicates' 'the totality.'  And that is what I experienced – the totality of my commitment to the Lord, to be lived and cultivated forever in love and faithfulness.

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I will always remember the sweet words of Dom Joaquim Carlos Carvalho, OSB  stressing the importance of living in a constant attitude of love(Jn 2: 1-11), and of serving  the needs of our brothers and sisters.

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Like Mary who, through her stance, anticipated the dark hour of Jesus to be manifest on the cross.

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Fr. Joaquim, also spoke of the importance of keeping one’s focus on the person of Jesus who invites us to bear with love and light all who are different and in a different situations which challenge us in our everyday lives. (Col 3: 12-17)

Dom Guilherme Werlang, Bishop of Ipameri, offered wise words and great cheerfulness, suggesting three calls to remember and put into practice every day: "Never lose your simplicity; refuse all privileges and live always with joy."

During the ceremony I could feel the energy of Christ, for I lived through it all with the full intensity of my heart!  In that moment, only one thing was important to me: returning to God the gift of life through my consecration.

The day of my final consecration to God brought me so much happiness that I can say for sure that even if the world had fallen down upon me, nothing would have shaken the strength and joy of affirming “yes” freely!

The celebration filled with spontaneity and simplicity, providing a unique experience, with ease and beauty. After the ceremony, our guests enjoyed a delicious dinner lovingly prepared by our Sisters, represented in each of the different colors in one of the gifts I was given: a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Many other religious congregations called or sent cards and email messages explaining their absence, and stating that they were with me in prayer – a gift which made me feel as if they were present.

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With gratitude, Sister Thalyta Pereira Lima

 Published: January 29, 2015