Holy Curiosity: A Gift for Discernment

Blog by Sr. Maidung Nguyen, OP

“Why is the water of that lake blue?”

“Why is the bread called Jesus’ body?”

My nephew kept asking me many questions like these above. Sometimes, I found it hard to explain to him. At the same time, I am happy to see that he is using the gift of holy curiosity to learn about life and about God.

Holy curiosity is a gift from God to us as human beings, to search for God, to be intimate with God, and to be inspired by God’s mission. Holy curiosity urges us to raise questions and to take quiet time to grasp the mystical meaning of God revealed to us through creation, life, and our call. Holy curiosity, without quiet reflection, will lead us nowhere. Quiet time allows us to listen effectively, to reflect, to integrate what God reveals to us daily, and to respond to God’s personal call to us and to the needs of our time.

My vocation call came from the holy curiosity of my childhood. After reading many saints’ stories, I asked many questions too: “why can only dead people become saints? Why can’t I or other people who are still alive be saints?” Searching for answers, I learned that all of us are called to be holy as God is Holy. That sounded wonderful, but how? This “how” urged me to search more, which required more quiet time to reflect.

Later on, when I was participating in the discernment process for religious life, holy curiosity helped me raise questions with the mindset of “freedom for inquiry,” which gave me the latitude to search for clarification of my call from many perspectives. My holy curiosity helped me to look at my call through my faith, traditions, culture, history, and the signs of times. I realized that my consecrated call was not purely to say “Yes” to religious life, just once, but an ongoing call to continuously search for God, to grasp and practice how to live a prophetic life. Of course, living a prophetic life is a process of letting go so we can grow, be transformed, and do God’s mission. God is present in these processes, and holy curiosity motivates me to recognize God’s works in the diversity of life, even beyond human beings.

Throughout human history, God has granted individuals and the church the gift of holy curiosity and the desire for contemplation. Indeed, this curiosity, when practiced in quiet time, is really the quintessential experience of a believer, from Augustine’s “restless heart” to Catherine de Siena’s “The Dialogue” to what we are reading from more contemporary voices like Dorothy Day, Richard Rohr, Brian Massingale, Joyce Rupp, or Wendell Berry. As we journey together as people of faith on earth, you and I may ask ourselves the following questions:

  1. How can we use this gift of holy curiosity to search for deeper meaning in living our faith and how can our actions be for the common good?
  2. How can we utilize our freedom for inquiry to raise questions, to challenge the status quo, and to respond to God and to the needs around us with more positive energy and vision?

For those who may be hearing the still small voice of God nudging you to think about being a sister, I would like to invite you to search for the meaning of this and other voices with the gift of holy curiosity. Take time to reflect and to explore openly what is being revealed to you. Here are some other ways you can satisfy your curiosity about religious life and about us:

  • Visit our congregation website to get to know the life of our sisters and our mission.
  • Check out our vocation website where you can find lots of information and resources to begin discovering your vocation.
  • Contact our vocation team to talk about your call.
  • Participate in our summer in-person Mission for Peace program, June 22-27 in Wichita and Great Bend, Kansas. Click here for more information about this event and to register.

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

3 responses to “Holy Curiosity: A Gift for Discernment

  1. Thanks, MaiDung! It is helpful the way you connect “Holy Curiosity” with quiet reflection.

  2. What a wonderful reflection AND invitation! Thank you Mai-Dung for reminding us that God’s invitations are continuous as we listen to the Word, the silence and all Creation!

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