As a young woman thrown back into the everyday unique challenges of living in the secular world after two years of living in a religious community I find myself at times thinking that wouldn't it be easier to just push aside my vocation to religious life and simply return to the teaching profession, which I did for four years, and absolutely loved every minute that I spent with my students in the classroom. I mean as a public school teacher in New York City I made decent pay, had plenty of opportunities to make some extra cash, had my summers off, and worked in a school with some absolutely amazing co-workers and students. I could afford whatever I needed to have and even some things that were not a necessity, and I would say that prior to me entering religious life I lived a pretty satisfactory life. And that thought lasts for sometimes a minute, and sometimes a day, but then my mind goes back to how can I choose to follow my own will simply because it might be more convenient when I know that deep down in my heart I am being called to religious life?
A call to religious life can be compared to the waves in the ocean. There are days when the tide rolls out into the deeps of the ocean and I feel that I am back in the secular world now so why not just go on about my life previous to religious life? Maybe I'm not deserving of such a calling to become a Bride of Christ. But then the tide flows back towards the shore and I feel the incredible stirring in my heart of being called to the consecrated life, and knowing that how can I not follow God's calling to me? How can I live the rest of my life not being where He wants me to be in my life? God chose the twelve men as his first disciples, and they were far from perfect, but God does not call perfect people because He knows our sins and loves us anyway. God calls imperfect people because even with our imperfections we can still offer our lives in serving Him; our perfect God in perfect love.
I know that the little voice within the depths of my heart that is continuously pulling me towards the religious life and the captivation that I feel when I see the beauty and joy of a religious sister will not fade silently into the night. I know that thoughts in my head swaying me from believing that I can become a religious sister, and that I should give up because it's never going to happen, but I know that is the wicked whispers of the Devil because as a religious sister once told me, "Do you think God wants another nun"?
When we become closer to God, especially when a young woman is choosing to enter into a marriage with Christ himself as a religious sister you can bet that the Devil will giving his all to take a vocation away from the Lord. It is important that those discerning religious life are aware that there will be times when the waves flow back in forth in your mind, but if the calling to religious life keeps coming back, it is important to spend even more time with God. It is through the holy sacrifice of the mass that you will be truly nourished by the Spirit, and will be given the strength to win the spiritual battle against Satan and to hear God's voice. Eucharistic adoration gives us the silent moments we need to listen to the quiet of our hearts. Christ and Christ alone continuously defeats the Devil, and it is by the Body of Christ that we can overcome the temptation to give up on religious life, and answer God's call with courage and without fear.
"Do not be afraid of what God asks of you! It is worth saying "Yes" to God! In Him we find our joy."