‘”My heart rejoices in God my Saviour” – Magnificat.
I thank God from the bottom of my heart for the grace of my Perpetual Profession. My heart is filled with thanks and praise to God. I would also like to thank the many people who have supported me in my journey so far. Looking back, I am filled with gratitude and joy when I think about how many people led me along the road to baptism and to religious life and how many people God has sent to me after I joined the Congregation and before I arrived at this day. I can see God’s guiding hand in all this. All I did was to have the desire to follow Jesus, and even that desire must have been something that God made me have. As soon as I became aware of that little desire that was born in me, I took it as my own desire and decided to choose the consecrated life. Everything was arranged by God.
At the Mass of my Perpetual Vows, the Parish Priest led the congregation in the singing of Litany of the Saints. As he began to sing his voice echoed throughout my body as I was lying face down. This was followed by the voices of the bishop, my Sisters, and everyone gathered there. As the names of the Saints were chanted I realized that they were praying with me; that those I could not invite to the ceremony here, were praying for me online and in their own places, and that my loved ones who are now in heaven were also praying with me. So many people were praying with one heart for me, this small, helpless person, lying prostrate before God. I felt they were saying, ‘Listen, God, to what this person asks of you” and I knew that Jesus himself was leading this prayer and interceding for me to the Father. With that prayer, I was able to stand up and take a step forward and I believe that the Father received me with both hands as a precious offering. When I felt this, tears naturally welled up in my eyes. At that time, I understood deeply again what the priest who has supported me since my novitiate, has repeatedly said to me: ‘The desire that is deep within you is connected to the desire of God’.
I have given everything to God, so what will God show me from now on throughout my life? This is what has been in my mind from the day of my first vows, and during these years I was shown so many miracles. Of course, there were times when I was distraught with pain and anxiety. But at those times, there was strong support from within and from without. Looking back now, I can see that everything was given to me as a blessing.
There will be many more things to come. There may be great crosses to come. But at the same time, I know the many blessings I have received so far, and that God’s mercy is eternal. Putting my trust in God’s heart, I want to continue to walk with all the love I can, step by step, together with Jesus and Mary, with the Canossian Sisters around the world, and with all of you.
I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your many prayers and support so far. Along with my gratitude, I would like to ask you to continue to pray for me. Thank you..
Sr Maria Yoko Kiyota fdcc