The mystery of a religious vocation

In today’s society, we do not deal well with the mystery. Mysteries are to be solved, not accepted and even – the horror! – embraced.

We read and watch mysteries with great excitement (sometimes we skip to the end to find out who done it). Scientists explore mysteries to get to the bottom of why. Our culture demands to know … everything.

Sometimes, though, we forget about the importance of faith. No matter what invisible-to-the-naked-eye particle we discover, we simply must take the why of it on faith. And that’s true of our path in life as well.

That is, we won’t always know where we are going, how long it’s going to take to get there and what it will be like at the end.

Vocations do not work that way.

We all have a call. It’s a nagging feeling that draws us away from the life we know to a life we may not know or understand. It’s a strange desire to move forward even though we don’t know where the path will lead us. It’s a mystery.

I put my faith in that feeling – finally! – 6 years ago when I embarked on my journey with the Benedictines. (I had experienced the feeling for years before that, but that’s another story.)

So, from someone who has been there: Put your faith in that call and move forward. Embrace the mystery. Trust the process. Go where you don’t know, simply because your heart is leading you there.

As the Year of Faith Companion says, “We must cling to this mystery if we wish to know a living faith.”

Author: Sr. Stefanie MacDonald, OSB who is the Vocation Director of the Sisters of St. Benedictine in Rock Island, IL and a teacher at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy.

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