12 February 2010

Share Your Faith Question #5: "Where Can I Give Who I Am?"

"I think a lot of people my age want to give themselves in some direction, and the greatest frustration for people is not knowing: 'Where can I give who I am?'" -- Sister Mary Judith, O.P.

On Wednesday's episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, correspondent Lisa Ling visited the Dominican Sisters of Mary at their convent in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In the clip above, she notes that most of the one hundred Sisters are young adults: their average age is 26.

Each Sister interviewed on the show has her own reasons for entering the religious life, but each also has something in common with the others: at some point, she had to choose between her calling and the demands and trappings of our culture. The decision to devote oneself entirely to her vocation, the Sisters say, can be a difficult one---a decision that requires a complete departure from one's previous way of life---and the adjustment can be hard. The life is not for everyone. Before entering the convent, some women left their careers and long-term relationships; others came over the objections of their families.

And yet, the Sisters say, whatever struggle they've experienced---and whatever sacrifice they've made--- is worth it to them. As one says: "If this is what you're meant to be, you're going to become more yourself over time---more free to be who you are."

This week's question: Have you ever felt called something greater than yourself? Have you wanted to honor that calling even if doing would required you to change your life in a profound way?

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