Three Simple Letters

 Today marks the one year anniversary of my profession of final vows as a Sister of Saint Joseph. Looking back on the year that has been, it’s hard to believe all that has come to pass. I never would have thought that 6 months of my first year of perpetual profession would be lived out under the curious circumstances of COVID-19. As I reflect back on September 15, 2019, I am filled with gratitude for the grace of God and the gifts of community. Our Constitutions as Sisters of Saint Joseph say that “each day we make a new beginning,” and surely that is true for me today and always. I pray that today, I may live out my vows to the best of my ability and that I may encounter God in all things. May each of us be so blessed.

In commemoration of my final vows, I offer a poem that I wrote last year in preparation for my profession. The wisdom it contains continues to come to fruition. I pray it may speak to your heart as it continues to speak to mine.

“Three Simple Letters” by S. Colleen Gibson, SSJ

Three simple letters
unforetold in meaning
unforeseen in duty

You speak them without
fully knowing what they mean.
You say them not to what is asked
but to who is asking
to You
who will be revealed in time
in hands worn deep with crags and crevices
this is the work beyond words
to be given
to be formed
to discover
that it is not what you bring
but who you are that matters
and even that is changing
and it should
if you let it
forget solid ground and settle
in the mixed up alphabet of life
for a standard
written on the heart
and held in the soul
You, speaking, not knowing
what it’ll mean
in the next moment
but when that comes
it will sustain you
so that each utterance
will be a deliverance
to the glory you imagined
with that first