“This is what I want, this is what I seek, this is what I long to do with all my heart!”
~ St. Francis of Assisi
My adventure, like most, begins at home. I am blessed with a very loving Catholic family. My vocation was nurtured here in the family, between the pillars of the Eucharist and Our Lady. I am here today doing God’s will thanks to the love, sacrifices, and prayers of my parents and siblings; that is a delightful certainty. I have always dreamed of adventure, of going to far off lands and doing grand things. People suggested many things I could be: a lawyer, an author, a mother, a teacher. But none of these ever satisfied me. I desired something so much more; my heart ached for adventure.
I first heard God’s invitation to be entirely His own in second grade, as my class was preparing for our First Holy Communion. As I learned more about Jesus, how He loves us and gave His all for us, how could I respond but give my all to Him in return? And I wondered: how can I do this? ‘Ah,’ I thought, ‘I’ll be a nun. I don’t know what they do, if they can eat pizza or wear pajamas. But I know they love Jesus with all their hearts, and that’s all that matters to me.’ The religious vocation was always on my heart, if not foremost on my mind, all through middle school and early high school.
In high school I became a little confused; perhaps not confused, but honest with myself. The question came that every young cradle-Catholic must face: was I Catholic because I believed it to be true, or only because my parents had raised me that way? So I went back to square one: is there really a God? Thankfully I was studying Aquinas in class at the time, and, through study and prayer, came to the conclusion that, yes, the Catholic Church is the true church. Then I met another obstacle: if the Catholic Church was true—then why weren’t Catholics happy? I had left the nest of home and met many miserable people who professed to believe the Truth that, to me, should have set their hearts ablaze. I was very confused by this. At the same time the culture seemed to proclaim that in order to survive in this life, if I wanted adventure, I would have to lower the bar of my morals and high expectation. I did not want to do this, but I was starting to believe I had to.
Now one might ask, “Sister, if you wanted examples of people living their faith in society, why didn’t you read the lives of the saints?” Ah, the saints. To me at that time, ‘saint’ meant: praying all day and all night, kneeling with bare knees on a bare floor, eating only bread and water, wearing a frown. This was not the adventure I wanted, no way. Thanks, God, but no thanks: You can find someone else to be Your saint. You’ve come to the wrong person.
But then! My junior year of high school marked the start, or, rather, recognition, of a life-long conversion, from apathetic comfortable Catholic to living fully alive Catholic. And it started by my reading the original Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. God touched me through these simple stories, and, truly, nothing in my life has ever been the same. The Holy Spirit, as only He can, through these stories gave me an intense love for the Eucharist, a deeper awareness of and focus on the goodness of God, and hence a constant joy and hope, and an example of living high virtue in society and sharing our faith with everyone we meet. These stories led me to reading the lives of the saints, and my falling in love with them and asking how God was calling me to be a saint. And so the thought of religious life returned. I had met Sr. Lois my sophomore year of high school, and she invited me on many retreats at this convent. I began to seriously discern, especially in adoration. I went to college locally part-time for one year, and then asked for entrance into the convent. I have started to understand that adventure is not travelling to great lands around the world, but travelling down the roads of the hearts of people I meet every day. Adventure is encounter; adventure is love—and I want to lead the most adventurous life possible. Adventure is conversion that lasts a lifetime, so incredible that it surpasses your greatest expectations. Adventure calls for courage, which leads to hope, which leads to joy. Be courageous! Be saints! As St. John Paul the Great says:
“Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ! Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure!”
Praised be Jesus Christ!Sister Mary Bosco, Temporary Vows