Recently, I was reading a collection of vocation stories written by priests from our diocese. It made me think about my own vocation to religious life. As I reflected, I realized: Christ “proposed” to me when I was five. He invited me to be His bride at that tender age.
Of course, at the time, those are not the words that I would have put around it. What I experienced back then was simply a strong desire to be a Sister like my first-grade teacher — not because I wanted to be a teacher like her or dress like her. There was something about her and that something — or more accurately, that Someone — was drawing me. My heart was being drawn by Christ, to give myself totally to Him.
That desire stayed with me all through grade school. At the time, it was a common practice in Catholic elementary schools for any visiting priests or religious to ask any class they were visiting if anyone was interested in entering religious life. In first grade, we all raised our hands in response! But by my last year of grade school, I was the only one still raising my hand. The next year found me entering the order that taught at our school, as an aspirant (one who is looking to join). Continue reading