Do you get saddened by the suffering of so many in our world today? Is it hard for you to read or see the news when it is filled with violence and injustice? What can one person do to make a difference?
In one of his last “farewell” discourses, Jesus revealed that the Spirit would be given to the disciples to guide them, but Jesus didn’t reveal much more about the Spirit. In fact, he said: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” (John 16:12)
If Jesus said that to me today, I would most likely say: “But, Jesus….” Or I can even imagine myself pouting: “Fine…I guess I’ll just have to Google it.”
The truth is that there are some things in life that are simply not enough to just read about. Think about your favorite author, TV show, app, games, and Facebook page. What a difference it makes to experience these things instead of just looking them up. I think that discerning a vocation for religious life is somewhat like that. We are invited to experience discernment, and not just read about it.
In this Sunday’s (Pentecost) first reading we hear that the Spirit filled the apostles and enabled them to proclaim the Gospel. Through baptism we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, as well as the call to proclaim the Good News. How? It comes from letting God reveal it to us through discernment. It’s a journey.
The “Pentecost” experience:
In my journey, when I first accepted God’s love, all of a sudden I felt ignited by compassion and I felt urged to let others know about the love that God has for all. That fire was burning in me and I felt so alive. Ever since, the fire has been burning and I have found passion for God.
“I have so much more to tell you” (John 16:12a)
Proclaiming the Good News is a call for all the baptized. I prayed many times, “God, can you tell me how?” I so wanted God to reveal it to me, right then, right when I wanted. I wanted God to communicate to me whether I was called to share the love of God in a community of family or in a community of sisters. But God had much more to tell me…
“…but you cannot bear it now” (John 16:12b)
I didn’t know how to sort it out or discern and I felt it was too much and too big by its nature. I felt that I could not bear it alone.
What helped me?
One day, I ran into a quote: “Stop thinking so much and go where God takes you.” And that’s when I reached out for help and entered into deep discernment. I intentionally looked for God’s presence and guidance in daily happenings. Prayerfully walking the journey with spiritual directors, vocation directors and formation directors helped me reflect on vocation and helped me deepen my relationship with God. It also helped me reflect on what makes me come more alive so that I can be my best self and be fully present where God and the world most need me.
Ignited by the Spirit, all baptized have a baptismal call…What is yours? What helps you to be your best self so that you can fully be present where God and the world most need you?
If you are reading this and feel that it could be helpful to talk to someone, please feel free to contact any of our Sisters in Ministry of Welcome.
Pope Francis’ words of encouragement to all Sisters, Brothers and Priests in Consecrated Life have been transformed into a theme song for the Year of Consecrated Life #YCL2015. This song begins with his words, “Wake the world with dawning joy! Wake it with your gladness!” With full voice and heart we sing this song as we indeed live this life God has called us to with joy, gladness, and enthusiasm. Continue reading →
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. [So] do not let your heart be troubled or afraid.” – John 14:27
Recently, my reflections have centered on the concept of “peace” and the lack of peace in our world. As an African-American, I have a personal interest in the events headlining the news dealing with racial injustice and violence in the past several months. As a religious Sister, I am drawn to the necessity of promoting equality and justice in all areas of life as an essential part of proclaiming the gospel. And as a member of a religious congregation bearing the name of Dominican Sisters of Peace, I am conscious of the need to discern how I am being called to embody our commitment to “Be Peace, Build Peace and Preach Peace” in responding with gospel values to these particular “signs of the times.” Continue reading →