(Sr. Eden Marie wrote the following letter upon receiving her habit and new name as a Sister of Life in July 2019. We are sharing it with her full permission.)
This name was first spoken to me a year and a half ago, and since then, it has continued to bloom and take on ever newer and deeper meaning in my own heart. Therefore, I feel very poor in being able to explain it to you…mainly because it is still much of a mystery to me, since within Eden Marie lies the mystery of who I am, the “great idea” that prompted my life to be created by God, which is ever unfolding!
First of all, a religious name speaks of a person’s identity…it touches on who someone is as a unique and unrepeatable human person. Therefore, Eden Marie is not the negation or end of who I was; rather, it speaks of the deepening of my identity. This new name is simply a flourishing of my baptismal name: Sharon Marie. In Hebrew, “Sharon” means fertile field, so literally “Eden” is the blossoming of this fertile field! It is His promise that He is indeed making me a new creation…that He will “make [my] wilderness like Eden.” (Isaiah 51:3)
Also, a religious name speaks of one’s mission - the unique way that God will use me to transform and heal the world. This is where the mystery of Eden Marie begins to baffle me, so I will do my best! I’ll first share what it means theologically, and then what He’s revealed to me personally.
We are beyond blessed with an amazing community of teens, young adults, priests, consecrated men and women, and families who are striving to live out Christ's invitation to authentic love and who have gifts to share their journeys through writing.