Last night as the sisters spoke on vocation and how God worked in their lives, I too, heard things anew. Two lines stick in my mind. The first was Sister Mary Gabriel’s search for passion and a way of life that would provide the fire of excitement for living. Allow me to paraphrase her talk. She was trying to figure out what to do with life, her parents were asking about what she planned to do after graduation. She described a few options for using her teaching degree in northern Illinois where her sister lived, as well as a few other options. Later as she recalled the dialogue with her parents she realized, “I get excited about many things, like Rueben sandwiches and playing chess, but here I am about to use my college degree and I have no fire. Something is not right here.” Her discernment continued and she found the missing link. Teaching is good, but combining it with the gift of self to the Lord creates excitement, and brings passion to life in the gift of self through Religious Life.
The second memorable line which Sister Regina Marie delivered with great affect was a quote which her mom used frequently. Michele loves the Marian sisters and took the family there often to help with this or that project or to pray with them, so Sister went there often. On the way off the grounds, after a long pleasant sigh of satisfaction, they would hear the line, “Oh, I just love those women!” Speaking positively about the Church and vocations fosters love of the Lord. You should have heard sister deliver it!
Another moment of God’s grace that I will never forget, was God’s response when I was discerning and asking Him what He wanted me to do with my life. After praying my first novena (I had just learned of them from my holy friends), I was confident that somehow the Lord would answer, though I didn’t know what it would look like. Then in the midst of it He came, (pause please) I had no idea He could work so powerfully. There, in the old Newman center, in the fourth pew back on the left side, He came. He came with an overwhelming sense of His presence and two enlightenments: first of His love for me as an individual, and secondly, His choice of Religious Life for me. Those sentiments along with great joy not only washed over me, but went all the way through me. The first words out of my mouth were. “Wow, Lord, I knew you’d answer, but I had no idea you would be so powerful and clear! Thank you!”
What a blessing to live with passion, and to be formed in a family where there was positive regard for not only vocations and the sisters, but for the Church. You can’t out give the Lord, we give a little and He gives infinitely more. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
In Christ’s Love,
Sister Mary Michael