As we come so near to the day when our confreres Matthew Hovde, C.S.C., and Dennis Strach, C.S.C., will make their Perpetual Professions of Vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross, the Vocations Office shares these words from our Blessed Founder, Father Moreau, taken from a sermon he delivered on the topic of the renewing of religious vows. Our thoughts and prayers are with Matt and Dennis, and with their families and friends, as they prepare to say “forever” to Holy Cross and to the Lord.
“By the promises of our baptism we contracted to destroy the “old man of sin” within ourselves, to die to ourselves, and to live only the life of Jesus Christ, as He lived on earth only the life of His Father. If a tree be known by its fruits, and a Christian by his works and fulfilled obligations, we may perhaps find reason for weeping and saying with David: “O Lord, the sins of my youth and my ignorances, do not remember” (Ps. 24:7).
We shall not treat here of the obligations we took at the baptismal fount. However extensive these were, they were only the prelude and trial of those we contracted on the day of our profession. Oh, how joyful and eager we were on that day! We can but love to recall our ardor in ranking ourselves under the standard of Jesus Christ and in becoming members of our community. O blessed day! O moment of salvation! TheRule had then nothing too difficult for nature, and all our sacrifices seemed as nothing. All the monsters barring our entrance into the Promised Land were unable to frighten us. More courageous, more faithful than the Israelites, who soon wearied in the desert of pursuing the conquest of that happy land, we had a holy impatience to enter the most difficult places of our community.
Filled with gratitude for the divine mercies, we had such thoughts as these: “What shall I do for God in return for all He has done for me? How shall I repay Him for that gratuitous preference of mercy by which He has chosen me among many more worthy than I of such ineffable bounty? He has snatched me from the soul-slaying Egypt, to lead me into the loving solitude of religion and from it, into the land of promise. To Him alone belong the homage of my mind and the affection of my heart. I wish to live only for Him and sigh only for His glory. Yes, I wish so to unite myself to Him that I may be a complete sacrifice, immolated for His Sovereign Majesty. I wish to make Him solemn promises, and pay Him my vows before all the world.”
Taken from “Basil Moreau Essential Writings” available from Ave Maria Press.