As I was eating breakfast this morning with the sisters the doorbell rang. A few minutes later one of the sisters brought a great mound of candy and cookies and other treats into the kitchen. All the goodies were a Valentine's Day treat from one of the older men in the parish. It occurred to me that never in my life have I received more valentines than in the convent. When I was a single, available woman, I never received this kind of treat on Valentine's Day! The kids bring candy to school for the sisters, people in the parish drop off nice treats, all the sisters received a little treat from the superior, and there are decorations everywhere celebrating this little feast.
This got me to thinking about the nature of being a consecrated woman in our culture, especially as regards the vow of chastity. I think chastity is the core reason why we received so many little treats today!
Now before you say, "Sister is crazy!", let me back up and explain!
People hunger for a different love than the kind the world gives. They desire to love and be loved in return with a pure and simple gift of self. The witness of religious life in this regard is important. Because of my vow of chastity, I am a witness to this kind of love. I give myself to God alone, and because of that gift I love all with an inclusive and all-encompassing love. Hopefully, I am faithful to this love each and every day, but there is always a challenge to it also.
As I pray, and study, and serve this day, I ask God to let me be especially mindful of my call to love in a way that shows His face to the whole world. I ask Him to make me joyful, hopeful, and faithful to His presence in each and every person I meet to day. I thank Him for allowing me to see today that my love does touch others by my presence, my words, and my actions.