What our vows/promises mean to us.
Religious life canonically recognized by the church is, by the public pronouncement of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, a permanent response to the unchanging God in an act of faith and love. It answers the world’s material orientation, its sexual preoccupation and its desire for power and control by freeing us to live the values espoused by Jesus Christ in the Gospels.
Through the vow/promise of poverty, we strive to trust in God’s providence in order to be free from the accumulation of or attachment to material possessions so that “Christ is the eternal treasure” of our lives. This freedom from materialism gives priority to spiritual and personal values and assists us in our efforts to follow Jesus’ example of a simple lifestyle and His ministry of service to the poor. Members who choose to make a promise of poverty remain financially independent.
Through the vow/promise of chastity, we commit ourselves to faithfully live celibate lives. We cherish chastity as a gift that enables each of us to surrender our whole being in total dedication to our Lord. We carefully preserve it through prayer and self-denial, avoiding all that is opposed to it. St. Angela calls us, through chastity, to “be joyous and always full of charity, faith and hope in God.”
The desire to do God’s will is at the heart of religious obedience, whether vowed/or promised. It is the Holy Spirit who inspires an individual with an understanding of God’s will. It is the Holy Spirit who guides a religious community when we gather to seek God’s will within ourselves in light of Gospels. We prayerfully seek God’s will in the directives of the Church, in our constitutions, in the circumstances of our own lives, and in the signs of the times. As St. Angela said, “See to everything as the Holy Spirit inspires you.”
To get in touch, contact Sr. Margie Efkeman, 513-631-0264, firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
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To read what some of the Sisters have said about being a part of the Ursuline Sisters of Cincinnati community, read the Sisters testimonials.