Mary's Visible Hands
Our appearance in public is an eschatological sign..., bringing with it... the obligation to preach the joy and peace of the Gospel, sometimes by word, sometimes in prayer, but always by example and the religious habit. ~ MSSR Constitutions
The witness of religious life, as an intimate living of the life of Christ, is a strong manifestation of the primacy of God and central place of love of God in human life. This witness is manifested first by who we are as consecrated persons, externally by what we wear and how we work, and finally by what we do - our public apostolates.
Our consecration covers the whole of our life - our affections, our possessions, our autonomy. Lived authentically, it mirrors the joy, hope, and love of Christ to the world. Based on a deep relationship with Jesus, the Sister willingly accepts a pattern of life largely laid down for her by the horarium. She wears a distinctive religious garb that makes her immediately identifiable as a representative of Christ and His Church. Her place of residence is chosen for her and is marked by its religious simplicity. Her travel and contact with friends and loved ones is regulated by the norms of the community. In order to more fully identify herself with her Spouse, she practices a certain restraint in forms of relaxation and entertainment, giving up good things for the One Thing Necessary.
As women consecrated to making God's love visible to the world, each Sister strives to cultivate a Mary-like manner. Our manner, the way in which we do what we do, is to be marked by graciousness, human warmth, and the joy of following Christ. These qualities of manner depend on each Sister's continual internal attention to Whom it is she is working for, not on what it is that she does. When He becomes recognizably present in each task she does, the Sister is impelled to offer Him Mary's own heart and dispositions along with her labor.
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