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 vocations@oppeace.org 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.

Posted in God Calling??, News

5 responses to “Religious Life: A Journey to Self-Transformation

  1. Oh, I have so much I would like to say but writing would be difficult. Mai Dung thank you for sharing so beautifully! Not being a religious, looking in from the outside, is totally different. I must say, I have DEEP respect for all religious! Thank you again, peace!

  2. Oh, there’s so much I would like to say. Writing doesn’t do this subject justice. Though Mai Dung did a great job expressing herself! I know in my soul, words don’t come easily when it comes to describing religious life, particularly, not being a religious…looking in on the outside is totally different! I want you to know I have DEEP respect for all religious! Thank you for sharing Mai Dung!

  3. Thank you, Sr. Mai Dung Nguyen for your reflective and
    Insightful journey in Religious life and how with God’s Grace and your openness you have experience a transformation in your life and it will continue.

    You are a blessing to all!

    Deep peace and prayer,
    Brigid, OP

  4. Thank you, Mai Dung for these inspiring words about self-transformation and the blessings of religious life. Very succinctly presented and easy to understand.

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