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Religious Life: A Journey to Self-Transformation

Blog by Sr. Mai Dung Nguyen

Some people are called to live in married life and others choose single life or consecrated life. Compared with religious life, married life is easier to understand because many of us were raised in a two-parent home. We observed the joys and challenges of married couples. Religious life, on the other hand, is often surrounded by myths. Many people think that religious life is without fun, focusing on sacrifice and prayer. When I first began discerning, I thought religious life that way because I didn’t truly know what this life offered. How about you? What myths do you believe about religious life?  Can you name opportunities that religious life has offered to those who live that call?

For me, self-transformation is one of the many gifts that religious life has brought to me. I would like to talk about this gift in this blog; the other gifts from religious life will be discussed in my future blogs.

As a human being, I tend to think I know myself well, but in reality, I don’t really know who I am from a faith perspective. St. Catherine of Siena said; “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” How can I know and accept what God intended me to be?

I know some of my gifts and dreams, but the hidden potentials are not easy to recognize. Even when I recognize them, I may not know how to develop them fully for the sake of a fulfilling life and God’s desired mission for me. Have you ever had such an experience?

In religious life, I have been gifted with time for daily reflection, more time to pray, more chances to attend inspiring and challenging workshops, and more time to be focused on self-development and mission.  I have had chances to share life and dreams with sisters and associates in my community, and more time to reflect on realities of ministry and what has been happening around me. These valuable experiences create great opportunities for me to see more clearly and to be deeply touched by what is going on around me.  I begin to see and act differently.  With all the support from the community and with God’s grace, I have more courage to open myself for potential gifts as well as understanding my weaknesses.

The journey of self-awareness, acceptance, and development brings so much growth in me.  The more I accept and value myself and allow God to work in me through others, the more respect and gratitude I have toward life, people, and all creations. All are gifts from God. I become more peaceful, joyful, compassionate, and active. I begin to touch and accept the vision that God has planted in me that at first, I did not understand. Now, I feel more confident and strive to share these fruits with the world.  

I am humbly convinced that with religious life, I can be who I am today. Even though the journey of self-transformation is an on-going process, I am willing to stay on this journey and I feel blessed to be on the journey that God has paved for me. If you truly want to enter this on-going transformative journey to find out what God is calling you to be, contact us at or check out our webpage here. We also have a “Come and See” retreat weekend coming up in Akron, Ohio on March 15-17, 2019.

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