I loved Oprah’s show yesterday. One of the stories was talking to Dominican aspirants as they prepared to take final vows and why they wanted to be a sister. They seemed to have a happiness many of us only aspire too. They were young women and seemed to see living as a nun as freedom and they had a balance of prayer, works, and recreation. I was glad to see an alternative young woman can have to follow Jesus in a radical lifestyle.
The parents interviewed expressed how hard it was for them. They had wanted to see their daughter marry and have children and they weren’t able to see them very much accept for letters. But as one father said,” I wanted my daughter to be happy and safe. Being in the convent gives her the life I always wanted for her.” Then they laughed knowing “You’ll know where she is on Saturday nights.”
This is a calling for some women and their love of Jesus was evident. They wanted to give all for Jesus. I looked into being a nun myself and lived in a convent for two years. I have nothing but admiration for the nuns I was honored to live with. I lived in two different convents and was ale to keep my job while I discerned if this was the path for me. I met awesome women who were also discerning and we went to days of discernment and retreats. I sold most of what I had and came with only a grocery bag of items. It took me two years to be accepted. I had a psychological and medical evaluation, and I needed to write a short auto-biography and talk to a sister every month. They were evaluating me and I was also seeing if this was for me.
As it turns out it wasn’t my calling but I’m glad I followed where I thought Jesus was asking me to be. As it turns out I have taken private vows which are blessed by the Catholic Church. I developed my own path to help me focus of trying to live in faith. My vows are compassion, joy, perseverance, and surrender. I took my final vows with friends and family gathered. It was wonderful!! I am a Sister of Jesus, but I can’t call myself a nun because of church teaching.
Oprah’s show yesterday showed a path few travel but doesn’t our world need more people who try and give Jesus their all? I think all religions would be able to appreciate the life they have chosen and maybe we can see how we can follow our path in a dedicated and loving manner, whatever it may be.