Bro. Daniele on religious life

Bro. Daniele on religious life

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“So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20

Yesterday, I made my first vows with the Assumptionists. During the ceremony, I shed real tears of joy for the first time in my life. To me, yesterday represented the end of a long, joyful, but at times quite painful, chapter of my ‪#‎cammino‬: a journey home.

I see so much of myself in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. As a truly Tremendous Lover, the Lord seeks to draw all of us to himself. There is never a moment that he is not pursuing our hearts, our love. But as a prodigal son, I’ve ignored him many times, I’ve chosen to take the grace he gives me and make it my own, not truly open to his will for it. As a prodigal son, I’ve often wandered far from my Father….

But at a certain point, like the parable tells, you realize your brokenness, your emptiness, the fact that you NEED a source of hope and strength.

That’s what Novitiate was for me: the realization that I am nothing without the love of my Father and the love of Jesus Christ his son.

But my Father was already running to embrace me as I looked to him in yearning and hope. This fact, to me, is the fundamental lesson of my Novitiate.

Now, as I enter religious life, my desire is to remain in that embrace, to make my heart suitable for him to dwell in, and to invite others to seek out that embrace and remain in it, too.

These may seem like “just words” to those of you reading this, but I assure you….They’re not. I truly lived and felt what I’m writing, and I was sustained by so many prayers and so much love and encouragement from all of you along the way. What a blessing…..When I was kneeling to profess the vows, I felt like all of you had your hands on my shoulder, like you were there in the church with me.

As I look ahead with hope and gratitude, I entrust myself to your prayers, and be assured that I will pray for each of you.