Silver Jubilee! - 25th Anniversary of my Spiritual Vows
On 17 August 1993, I turned 40, moved onto The HolyLand and birthed MorningStar Community.
On 17 August 1998 I stood in my adorned glen before two of my endearing mentors, Father Fuemmler (now walked on) and Father W. Paul Jones (in his 90’s and still writing!). My three divine daughters and a cherished circle of family and friends surrounded me. Having taken three years to discern an appropriate order, searching the world over for one that would merge well with my devotion to veganism, wimyn, birth, instinctual living and Cherokee wisdom ways; my mentors and i agreed that my path would be one of a hermitess. I would live out my spiritual vows of silence, stability, service and hospitality in my cottage/hermitage and the world as spirit guided me.
The writing of my vows was a great undertaking for me. There are generally three sacred vows of the religious. I was offering my selfless service in Mexico during those discernment years. Fr. Paul challenged me to write my vows before my return in 1998. I was stunned. Frozen. Couldn’t think. “I can’t!” I declared. He responded, “Oh Pshaw! I could write them myself in 3 minutes! Think about what you live by and live for. Those are your vows. Then think about what you hope to live into. Those are also your vows.”
I left for Mexico and the first night on the roof of our little maternity clinic, while a mother gently labored below, under the moon and stars, I put pen to paper. I put hand on heart and breathed my deep breath of gratitude to Creator. Out came these 7 vows just as Father Paul said they would. Not a word needed changed or refined. They were the gift from on high to guide me.
In 2008, at the tenth anniversary of renewing my vows, I was so excited! Father Paul and I had discerned to create a one person order and I took my name, Mother Clare/Mother Ciara. Again I was in the glen surrounded by a host of loving support. Father Paul gifted me this humbling truth, “Ten years! That, Mother Clare, is a little bit of faithfulness!”
Now it is 2023. On 17 August I turned 70. The MorningStar Community celebrated their 30th Anniversary. The Order of Morning Star Sisters (OMS) turned 15. My little bit of faithfulness grew! It is my silver jubilee - 25 years of faithfulness!
Every December 8, during the gathering of the Associates of Morning Star Community, we create a Magi Basket in honor of a mother who has birthed that year. We fill it with nutritious foods, teas, candles, soaps, icons, etc. and leave it off as a surprise on the doorstep of a new holy mother.
Out of this vow and devotion to preserving sacred birth, I created a Maternal Rosary. Maybe it has been with the circle of wimyn from the dawn of time. Using the great story of two wombful wimyn who celebrated their mystical pregnancies with the words, “Hail Mary, full of Grace!”, I divined a Maternal Rosary that would allow us to pray for wimyn we love and care about who are wombfull in this modern day and time. The words are attached here in a handout. Some years we create finger rosaries to inspire and share with others around the world.
Join me in praying for the Holy Mothers who are in your families and communities! We are the elephant circle they need and deserve. However physical the journey of birth, deep does it move and forever change the spirit of a new mother, making her holy.
“Holy Mary, Mother of all Living, Be with us now and at the moment of our birth!”
There is so much story in those years of silence, stability, service and hospitality. A world of story. I wish to bow to and honor the great souls who have walked this path along side me. Supported me. Prayed me across big waters and prayed me home.
OMS will gather on 10 December for a celebration and renewal of these vows and my commitment to live them forward. If you wish to join me, please contact me personally. I wish also at that time to bless in a special way the sacred path of those gathered together.
I wish here to share my vows with you. Two years ago, I expanded my service vow to include preserving sacred first and last breaths. As it should be.
Devotedly, Mother Ciara
PERSONAL VISION AND SACRED PROMISES With Sacred fire as the symbol of Light and Passion, herein are 7 Sacred Promises of personal intention being in harmony with my personal vision and the Sacred Vows of the religious mystics world wide: Personal Vision: To embody the fullest expression of my divine nature and reflect it in the world around me. Sacred Promises/Vows:
Sameness: I promise to humbly live and participate in the culture among the people I serve.
Satyagraha - Truth force: I promise to keep to the ways of peace; of not harming or forcing life or creation, of eating no flesh, fish or fowl; of protecting the Holy Land, of giving thanks for pure water, fresh air, nourishment, warmth and shelter; of cherishing life: my own and all others in deed, word and intention.
Silence: I promise to value relationship; to stand, by my part, on good relations with all people; to honor and respect the crossing of paths; to nurture daily, by simple Silence, the awareness of my eternal and sacred relationship with my Creator, with my sisters and brothers, with creation and with my own Soul.
Simplicity: I promise to live, in ever-growing awareness, a life of simplicity. To give more than I take and to quiet the mind to single and simple purpose; to live with the knowledge that I am the temporary guardian of all I possess and to stand ready to share it when Love calls.
Singleness: I promise to live a life of Chastity wherein my Love is given through my eyes and voice and hands to all the peoples of our world; to Love as our Holy Spirit Loves: freely, purely, instinctively, abundantly; to Love as I have been loved - richly, with grand enthusiasm and without hesitation.
Sacredness - Service: I promise to commit my life to the preservation of sacred, simple birth, primarily among the poor; and to honor, respect, support and protect the midwives who serve them.
Solidarity: I promise to revisit and renew my vows according to the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit working in my life and the life of my spiritual community.