I think at times in a nun’s life, she not infrequently stops and ‘takes stock’ of what has led her to be where she is, and why she continues and perseveres in her calling – apart from the obvious answer,
which is a ‘Who’ rather than a ‘why’ or a ‘what’ – because obviously Jesus is the answer!
Where does the Gift have its roots?
For many of us, the gift of our vocation is deeply rooted in our families, even though when it comes to the point, it is the family which is the most perplexed by our decision. They can be the most upset and feel more than anyone else, a sense of ‘loss’ at a daughter’s or sister’s or niece’s departure from them – almost as if she is abandoning them in choosing God before them.
And yet, we find on entering, that when our hearts are moved to thank the Lord for what He has done in our lives; how He has been so lavish in His gift to us of His very self; and how we have felt the wonder that He could choose us for such a life of deep intimacy with Him, as this life is – that the first ‘thing’ we thank Him for is our family. That is where the journey began, and the further we walk along the road that will hopefully lead us to heaven, the more sure we are that it is our families which have shaped and moulded us and led us to be open to receive and to welcome the gift that this life is. They are the first people we pray for, when we come before the Lord in prayer and adoration; and the ones we carry constantly in our hearts.
So, how do you ‘break the news’ to the people who love you most?
But with profound gratitude, too. Life is a gift, completely unmerited, and filled with wonder, if we would but take the time to think. We have been given so much; and for the much some of us are given, the only way we can express our gratitude to the Lord for all He has given, is to give our selves to Him, to offer our lives to Him – for Himself and for those whom we love.
We don’t all have ‘the same inspiration’ in responding to the Lord’s invitation – but the family is certainly one. May the Lord bless all our families, and may they know the loving protection and intercession of our Blessed Mother and St Joseph.
Those who are interested in learning more about our Dominican way of life are welcome to join us for the weekend of the 10th - 12th March, (details can be found here).