Monday, January 21, 2013

Vocation Awareness Week

This past week (January 13-19) was Vocation Awareness Week.  Becoming a priest or religious brother or sister may seem like a respectable vocation . . . . as long as it is someone else who is considering it.  If you're the one being called, instead of respectable, it may seem EXTREMELY scary. 

I remember the first time I was brave enough to share with a college friend that I was considering religious life.  It took what seemed an eternity to get it out.  I wanted her to guess what I was trying to say because I was having such difficulty forming the words.  I thought about playing 20 Questions or Charades or Pictionary.  I struggled so much.  I'm sure I wasn't making any sense. 

Finally I asked, "Do you know what I'm trying to say?" 

To my horror, she said, "No, you're just going to have to tell me." 

Somehow I mustered up the courage to just blurt it out.  "I'm thinking about becoming a nun." 

Her response was, "Praise God." 

It was nice she was so supportive, but I thought, "Easy for you to say.  You're not the one being called to be a nun."  I was one of those people who thought a religious vocation was a great idea . . . for someone else. 

Because of her response and some further research of who nuns really are and what they're really like (rather than relying on my own misperceptions), I was truly able to see that this calling was really a blessing.  Whereas at first I couldn't formulate the words, I was later able to join my friend in saying, "Praise God." 

Praise God that I was given the openness to hear God calling me to this vocation.  Praise God that I had people to support me.  And praise God that I was given the strength and courage to say yes and follow.