Saturday, May 9, 2015

Into My Mother's Hands

A particularly tender moment in a nun's profession is when she pronounces vows with her hands in those of Mother Superior.  "My heart was full of joy," wrote one such Sister, "as I pronounced these words from the vow formula, '...I vow to God into your hands Reverend Mother to live my whole life in obedience, without property, and in chastity.'" (Sister Mary Immaculata) 

"I vow into your hands...."

I read these words and immediately think of the total consecration to Mary according to St. Louis de Montfort:  "I, (name)_____, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism..."

In whose hands are these baptismal vows being renewed and ratified?  Into those of the Blessed Mother. 

"I vow into your hands...."

"When first under Francis’ (de Sales) direction, Jane de Chantal, then a widow with four small children… took the Virgin Mary as the Abbess of the cloister of her own heart." (from Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal, Letters of Spiritual Direction by Thibert, Wright and Power, 1988, p. 41) 

"I vow into your hands...."

The abbess of a monastery is in every way a mother.  She leads those in her community; she nurtures their spiritual growth and oversees the care of their temporal needs.  She teaches, guides, counsels, prays, comforts, serves, loves, corrects, soothes…

We who wish to live cloistered in heart, subjected as we are to the world and its distractions, must have an abbess who truly cares about our personal stresses and trials.  We need an abbess who can help us live in the midst of the world and not be of it.  Ours must be a Mother who can nurture us, care for our lives of "enclosure," and show us what it means to say and become a total yes to God.

"Mary said a total yes to God.  Thus she lived enclosure in His will fully.  She embraced His will so totally that He became enfleshed in her.  She listened to Him more completely than any human ever has or will.  Sinless, she never stepped outside her enclosure.  She yielded fully to God’s will, abandoning herself utterly to God.  All her plans for her life were put aside in favor of God’s.  Mary carried Jesus within her as a baby and she gave Him to the world - thus she is the perfect cloistered heart." (from The Cloistered Heart (book), 1996)

"‘Behold thy Mother’ (John 19:26).  By these words, Mary, by reason of the love she bore them, became the Mother, not only of John, but of all men." (St. Bernadine of Siena)

"Honor, venerate and respect with special love the holy and gracious Virgin Mary who, being the Mother of Christ our Brother, is also in truth our very mother.  Let us then have recourse to her, and as her little children cast ourselves into her bosom with perfect confidence; at all times and on all occasions let us invoke her maternal love."  (St. Francis de Sales). 

"God could have given us the Redeemer of the human race and the Founder of the Faith in another way than through the Virgin, but since Divine Providence has been pleased that we should have the Man-God through Mary, who conceived Him by the Holy Ghost and bore Him in her womb, it only remains for us to receive Christ from the hands of Mary." (St. Pius X)

A Prayer:  Blessed Mother Mary, your "yes" was the door through which our Savior entered the world as Man, and so I thank you for that yes.  I ask your help that I, too, might say yes to all that God asks of me.  May I be given grace to do whatever He tells me.  May I be given grace to utter magnificats of praise in all of the circumstances of my life.  I ask you to teach and counsel me, to comfort and correct me, to lead me ever closer to your Son. 

Pray for me, Heavenly Mother.

Into your hands, I entrust my commitment to God.

Text not in quotes

This is a re-post from July, 2014, slightly edited 
Photo of a profession at Tyringham Visitation Monastery, Massachusetts, provided by C Wells


  1. I love the "I vow into your hands...." Very powerful and contemplative. Into our Mother's hands then...This is just a beautiful post Nancy. Every word. Thank you....


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