Saturday, May 21, 2011

Never Give Up on Your Vocation

Two nights ago, I had a dream about a Bolivian friend of mine, Claudia. Yesterday was her 25th birthday so she was on my mind. We've always been close and now, I believe, closer still (at least spiritually) now that we both left the same congregation and joined/joining another.

Three years ago, Claudia and I were both in the same group of aspirants in that Salesian congregation. We grew close, partially due to our age (we were the oldest in the group) and also, I think, because we complemented each other in personality. When I decided to leave after six months, Claudia confided in me that she was having doubts too, that a part of her wanted to join the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMAs). (She did, six months ago) Another aspirant of our group of five also confided in me that she was having doubts too, that she was wondering if she had a contemplative, maybe even cloistered, vocation. All three of us would end up leaving, though be it years apart from each other.

"You are my sister, no matter the distance, you are my sister;
even though little we may see each other, my heart will always be united to yours
since my prayer will always remember you"

In my dream, I was visiting the motherhouse of the FMAs in the United States for some reason but years in the future - I was a Daughter of Charity (hopefully, in this sense, I'm predicting the future!). I was walking down the sidewalk outside of their chapel when I spotted a group of Salesian Sisters (FMAs) in their white habits further down the sidewalk. They were stopped talking to someone. I caught up to them, curious because I knew a few from my VIDES formation days with those same Sisters. One looked especially familiar to me though, though I couldn't pinpoint from where. Then, it dawned on me: "CLAUDIA?" I said after I tapped her on the shoulder. She looked confused for a second and then recognized me "AMANDA?" We hugged and I started crying out of joy because I thought I would never see her again. Then, the two of us started blabbering on in Spanish.

This dream is of no importance to you, I know. And it's most likely simply that - a dream.
But I swear there is a reason I'm sharing this with you.
What struck me was that, in the dream, there we were - me in a dark blue buttoned habit and a coiffe (head covering), her in a white habit and veil, a daughter of St Vincent and a daughter of Don Bosco - when, years ago, we were wearing the same aspirant jumper of a different congregation.

I think people tend to think that, once you join a religious congregation and leave, you must be done with religious life, that you can't "try again", that you're "damaged goods" so to speak.
But I think Claudia and I are examples of the opposite.

Please, never give up on your vocation. God never stops calling you. A step in the "wrong" direction may, in a special way, actually a step in the "right" direction.Whatever you do, don't stop searching, as discouraging as it might be to "make a mistake", until you find God's call..."where your greatest joy and world's greatest need meet".

1 comment:

  1. I love that you shared your dream with us because I think you're right about the general idea of people who leave a congregation. I still like to compare discernment to "dating" especially in this regard because if you don't feel called to marry someone in particular and you go your separate ways, it doesn't mean you're not called to be married at all.

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