I spent a year at a boarding school for young girls discerning a vocation to the lay consecrated life. It was an amazing experience for me. I would describe it as “the love of Christ that couldn’t wait.” I fell head-over-heels in love with Jesus.
During Christmas of my sophomore year I had the wonderful grace to be able to go on what we called a “Pilgrimage of Hope.” We stopped at Lourdes, Paray le Monial, Ars and Assisi; but the most memorable was Rome … at the Scala Sancta.
Now, I didn’t exactly see a vision, but something like an image came into my mind and everything that was happening around me seemed to fade away all at once. I saw Jesus on the steps falling on his knees, bending down towards me. In the clearest voice I have ever heard in my life Jesus told me: “If you really want to console me. Marry me!” I was shocked. Jesus’ desire was so clear. It brought me to tears. I was silent, and Jesus was in love.
From that moment on, I knew he wanted me to be his bride.
In the summer I returned home. My parents asked me to spend time with them before I made any major decisions with my life. It was rather dramatic for me. How could Jesus allow me to come back home, after he had literally PROPOSED? I had wanted to remain at this boarding school to continue to discern my vocation; I could think of nothing else. I was, as it were, “homesick.” I was scared. My heart ached. Finally, since I did not understand, I just gave up on the vocation.
A few months later, during a Catholic Youth Festival, a religious sister was giving a testimony on stage when suddenly a random seminarian said to me: “Don’t be afraid that Jesus wants you to be his bride,” and then he disappeared. At the same moment the sister on stage repeated the same exact words. They pierced my heart. Ever since I had returned home, I had felt abandoned by God; I had even stopped trying to discern my vocation. Now - suddenly - I realized that Jesus had been with me the whole time waiting for me to come back to him. It was like he couldn’t let go of my vocation; he couldn’t let go of my heart; he wanted me to be his bride more than anything. Although, according to HIS plans, not my own.
But I still thought that, if God is calling me, it had to be with the group I already knew.
However, one day I was surfing the web and came across a picture of these beautiful sisters with the most unique habit I have ever seen in my life! I looked them up just to see who they were. I mean, it’s not like I would ever become a religious nun. No, if anything, I was going to consecrate my life as a lay apostle. When I looked down at my watch, I realized I had been on their website for over 2 hours! Why was I so attracted to them? Week after week I found myself looking up videos, pictures, and articles all about them and their lifestyle. … Finally, I realized what was happening, God was calling me to become a religious nun. At first I wanted to run away from the idea, but it quickly returned again and again.
And then, just to make his point clear, Jesus began “stalking” me. At one point I found a holy card of these sisters while I was in adoration; another time one of my friends dreamed I had become a nun; another time I discovered a few of them walking in the background of a random video. Everywhere I went I saw them. It seems that even now a day does not go by without me coincidentally seeing them in a random place.
In November I decided to go on a “come and see” weekend at one of their convents in downtown Harlem, NY. I would describe it as the “Spanish Ghetto.” It was quite an experience. I learned so much from the sisters. I remember sitting all by myself in the simple quiet chapel, and asking Jesus, “I feel at home, why?” and Jesus responding “because you ARE home.”
Just days ago I received my entrance date which will be the 12th of June. I am so excited! It seems unreal to me that, by next year, I will be wearing a habit and I will have a new religious name! God is amazing!
I can’t grasp how great the love of God is to have called me to this vocation! I ask for your prayers for only one thing: that I may be faithful!
By A Catholic Like You