“Why did I join the Secular Third Order of the Institute of the Incarnate Word?”

16 October, 2020

After nearly nine years of my watching and appreciating the IVE Order function at St Peter and Paul Church, I knew they pursued holiness and were joy filled. Although it is obvious that I could not be a Minor Seminarian or a Brother or Priest of the IVE, and it is unlikely that I could be a Sister Servant of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara, I still wanted in – I wanted somehow to be a part of this family.

Joining the Third Order has allowed me to have another family – a spiritual family. In just this first week I have already noticed that my prayers for the IVE priests and sisters and seminarians have changed – they are more personal, intimate and meaningful. They have taken on the intensity of my prayers for my personal family.

Recently, someone asked how I was prepared to take on the commitment of the Third Order. My response was that I look at my new family as them helping me, guiding me, encouraging me, teaching me, loving me. The more that they can help me grow in holiness, the more I can be a support to them in any number of ways. The commitments that I have with the Third Order are nothing more than the commitments we all have as practicing Catholics.

The beauty of the Third Order is knowing that I am not alone in my personal struggle to be a better Catholic. Every day provides opportunities for me to make mistakes and disappoint the Lord, whom I love. I need help. I need a family to back me up, pull me up, and to face me forward again when I fall. I cannot do this alone.

About thirty years ago, I made a commitment to follow Jesus with all that I had by inviting him into my heart (He was in my head, but not in my heart). I fell totally in love with the Lord and I have received an abundance of graces over the years. Father has recently told me that when you make a commitment to the Lord, the Lord will provide the grace you need to carry it out. That is why I did not hesitate to join the Third Order. I joined because I love the Lord and am making a further commitment to Him. He will, of course, provide any graces that I need in order to carry out my small role in the IVE Third Order.

Come and join me and enlarge the family. I need you also.

Linda Zumwalde

June 14, 2020 Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

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