Part of our History: Home to Egypt Little sister Teresa Malak makes her final vows

Teresa 's celebrationTeresa 's celebration “Be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai… So Moses rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him... The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there…” (Ex 34:2-6)
I would like to share with you what I experienced in this step of making final vows. When I got back to Egypt after the Common Year, I began by visiting my family in order to be close to my uncle whose 20 year old son had disappeared, kidnapped by extremist groups. We don’t know if he is alive or dead. I felt great sadness with my family and I wondered what to expect at the final vow ceremony. That’s why I made my vows in Cairo and not in my region. This was a huge detachment because for me it had so much meaning to consecrate my life in the midst of the simple folks of my village, in the very Nazareth where I had discovered my vocation. I carried its wheat to the altar as a sign of the hidden life there, wheat grown in that good soil of my village where I had heard the call of the Lord. One experience in which I felt his presence was that the Lord filled me with a kind of prayerful recollection that covered everything: my retreat preceding the vows, the Eucharistic celebration…Yes, He is there.
My mother told me, “We felt we were close to the Lord at that moment”. And my sister-in-law Marianne told me, “The Spirit of God was in the silence, the prayer, and the abandonment”.
Here is the little word I said at the end of the celebration, in light of the readings I had chosen: (1 Cor 13:1-8, Jn 6:44-51, Ex 34:2-6).
No one can come to me if the Father who sent me does not draw him (Jn 6:44).
“Yes, this is my experience. This voice was always with me: “You are mine and I love you and I have entered into a covenant with you” (Ez 16:8).
The Word of God was like water for me and was with me wherever I went. I believed in this Word and it became alive for me every day of my life. You, who listen to the Father and become his disciple, come to me. The Lord drew my heart to him each day and his word in me was a fire which I cannot put out. Yes, the Lord wanted me to be his companion (friend), letting my life carry this word which is in me. Yes, he is the bread of life.
All along the way I experienced him calling me to be human before being religious, as lsr Magdeleine said. I discovered that my humanity is weak and poor, but I sensed that the Lord is a kind and merciful God. It is he who works out and fulfills my humanity and who helps me. He is the bread of life, and there I discovered the treasure of my own humanity which opens up endlessly to God in the desire to be in his hands. I discovered the treasure of my humanity in being a child in front of God. My path became joy, perseverance, and truth, and in this path I deeply discovered God’s love for me and his call to love. My life’s project is love, to love myself, to love the other, especially the poor and abandoned. Yes, this vocation calls me to go out of myself and towards my marginalized brother and sister, to go to them to be their sister, their little sister, for I am poor like them. It is they who will teach me and reveal their treasure to me and the presence of God that is hidden in them.
My vocation in the Congregation of the Little Sisters of Jesus calls me to be poor deep within myself, with open hands awaiting the riches of God and of my brothers and sisters, my fellow human beings. Pray for me that I take on the characteristics of Jesus of Nazareth, poor in the midst of his brothers and sisters, out of love, nothing else but love.”
Teresa making her vowsTeresa making her vowsThe ceremony was presided over by the Catholic Coptic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac who loves the Little Sisters very much. There was also the bishop from my region (Minia), Bishop Botros Fahim. Bishop Antonios Aziz, the bishop of Fayoum, where we have a community, was there, too, as well as Bishop Gorges Bakar, Greek Catholic, a friend of the Little Sisters. There were also many priests, and religious present. My family was there, my mother, my brothers and sisters, the young people of my village, and also friends of our communities in Cairo and Fayoum. There were around 600 persons. What made me really happy was the large number of children who came from Fayoum and Minia. All of that was a gratuitous gift from the Lord that day.