My heart overflowed with appreciation for the Province of Mid-North America as I renewed my vows in St. Louis on February 24, 2015. My life was filled this day with delight because of the gratitude I felt to God who called me by His love and for the Sisters who prayed with me and for me.
“Joy” was the seed of my religious vocation.
While I discerned my vocation a chance meeting with Sisters changed my life. I thought to myself, what made Sisters happy? What was their difference from my life? It created interest enough for me.
My thinking was that they seemed to have given up so much in every aspect. They were living together, left their family and friends, their jobs or studies and all their earthly possessions. I had enjoyed living in abundance and now I felt unsatisfied. A hope to be a Religious Sister began to fill my heart.
Through the years in religious life, I recognized that the “Joy” I had seen from the Sisters was a “Perfect Joy.” This joy included the shadows I experienced and also the days of discouragement and disappointments.
That is to say, that like Jesus who carried His cross out of love it was through the crucifixion I could learn to experience real Joy. As I lived the Gospel values for all who need our prayers, it was through self-patience and sacrifice that I have felt “Perfect Joy”
In his article on Consecrated Life Pope Francis said, “Where there are religious, there is joy.” Rather than pursuing secular values, through the practice of following Jesus in the Gospel we can have complete happiness.
They say “Joy” is a gift of vocation. I, who am called to the consecrated life, am feeling joy in the fruit of the Cross. So today I respond “Yes” to God’s call as I say with Mary my own Fiat.