Sister Joni Luna: first vows and the grace of an undivided heart
Editor’s note: Sister Joni Luna professed first vows as a Sister of Providence on June 26, 2016. Here she reflects on her journey with the Sisters of Providence to this point and her journey onward from here.
I stand once again at the door of Providence asking myself: Is this the path my Provident God desires for me to take at this time? Does my Creator desire me, in all my brokenness, to serve as an ambassador? Do I have what God needs in a servant?
I have spent much time in deep prayer, conversation and contemplation in pursuit of this truth. I have asked my Provident God to guide me so that I may clearly see God’s holy will for me. I feel a huge sense of comfort knowing that God is sharing this time of transition with me. I enter into this holy space. I trust that I am not alone, that my sisters, family, friends and Providence Associates are sharing this profession of faith with me.
In the deepest corner of my heart and soul, I have had and continue to have, a burning desire to serve God. To be in community and to cast my lot with the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of the-Woods. There is a voice that continues to invite me to come and to be an ambassador for the love and peace that only God offers.
Not growing up Catholic or knowing much about the Bible, I have come to trust and believe that the Gospels are true promises of the God who created me. That voice is very clear when my guard is down and no distractions are pressing me. Yet, as I try to merge who I was with who I am becoming, I find that sometimes I am in conflict. You see, in my former life I was in pursuit of power and had an appetite for money and success. This didn’t just disappear when I chose to enter the Sisters of Providence.
The past four years, I have freely chosen to let go of those values. To seek, with my whole being, to follow this new path illuminated by Providence. A path of SHARING my gifts and talents for the mission of human kindness and all creation. I have seen, and lived, both sides of the coin. The life that truly speaks to me now is the one that asks me to offer myself to God with gratitude. To walk the path marked out by Saint Mother Theodore and so many amazing Sisters of Providence who have followed in her footsteps. It is to say “yes” to my community. To my God and to the people and experiences beyond this day of taking my first vows. It is to allow myself to continue to be transformed as I become the best version of who God created me to be.
So, won’t you please pray with me? Pray that I may have the grace of an undivided heart. Will you pray that I have the courage to remain untangled from worldly desires and possessions that do not feed me spiritually? Pray, that I may continue to give my heart, mind and soul to our Provident God, so that whatever I do will speak of a heart that reflects God’s gifts to the world. Pray that in all I represent from this day forward, in all my thoughts, words and actions, especially in my doubts, frustrations, and failings, that I may place my whole self in God’s Providential care. Pray that I may offer myself as a servant, a woman of Providence, to be guided and shaped to say “yes” with gratitude, now and always. Amen