“To you, young people, I say: if you hear the Lord’s call, do not reject it! Dare to become part of the great movements of holiness which renowned saints have launched in their following of Christ. Cultivate the ideals proper to your age, but readily accept God’s plan for you if he invites you to seek holiness in the consecrated life. Admire all God’s works in the world, but be ready to fix your eyes on the things destined never to pass away.”
– Vita Consecrata 106
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits!”
At the age of 13, I had my first cherished encounter with God after the tragic death of my younger brother. Despairing and with a broken heart, I searched for consolation and healing in prayer. God in His Fatherly goodness dried my tears and strengthened me.
Sadly, the love and faithfulness of my young heart began to diminish. Slowly, my religious devotions took a back seat as I became totally absorbed by my studies. However, God waited patiently for me and did not allow me to forget the precious experience. He poured into my heart and increasing desire to return to His Eternal Love. In turn, I choose nursing as a means to express my love to God by ministering to my neighbors, but it was not enough. My heart felt empty, so in my search for happiness, I emigrated.
Feeling estranged and alone in a foreign country, I turned to God for help. I found it at the Our Lady of Czestochowa Sanctuary, where the Most Sacred and Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary waited for me. Steadily my heart was filled with grace so that it began to radiate with love. As my fervor for prayer increased so did my thoughts about religious life. I began to comprehend that Jesus was inviting me to a more perfect life. Jesus’ words “come and follow me” were persistently on my mind. This is what I wanted and desired with all my heart but found it difficult to fully believe. Joy intermingled with fear.
Consequently, in Czestochowa I met the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, whose charism is to love God above all and follow Jesus’ example in serving the needy, especially the children, the poor and the sick. This extraordinary power perfectly matched my yearnings! Finally, I understood that this was my vocation — to be a Little Servant Sister.
What can I say or do in response to Jesus’ love? On my knees, I can repeat with Mary, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done according to your word,” and with a grateful heart whisper – thank you, Jesus.
I felt a longing for someone....
In seeing a religious Sister as she crossed the street. I thought, what if it was I?
Life went on. I wanted to forget these thoughts so I gave way to various distractions; smiling on the outside, but in the depths of my heart I felt sadness. On Sunday, the Sisters from Stara Wies, Poland, visited our parish. I had so many questions but didn’t have the courage even to speak. Eventually, I came across a pamphlet about the Congregation called, ‘The Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.’ It lay on my bureau for a long, long time before I began to read it. I didn’t hear God’s voice saying, “Come,” but I did experience a great longing for someone unseen. Christ, who looks upon us, knows our thoughts, knows us completely…
Lord Jesus, if this is what you want, please direct me.....
All the members of my household believe in God but no one talks about Him. I remember that only my grandmother courageously demonstrated her belonging to God and often prayed the rosary. Unto this day, I admire her that when so many neglect prayer, she remembered.
At a certain time in my life I felt the desire to read the Holy Scripture. I read it, but did not fully understand it all. Once, I asked God why thoughts about religious life arise in my heart. Does He want me to enter a convent? Then, it seemed to me that He was silent, but the profound silence seemed to say ‘yes”. I often prayed – Lord Jesus, if this is what you want, please direct me….
I wasn't able to eat or sleep...
I read about the religious life, but I never thought that it would affect me. I wanted to have a family, a wonderful husband, and children.
I enjoyed life but felt that something was out place, that something was missing. With great difficulties but stubbornly I attained some of my dreams. I finished the Teachers’ Education Program, I began to work with children, and I was accepted at college. Eventually, I even traveled to the United States. After having attained all this, I found that I was still unhappy. I couldn’t eat or, sleep. I suffered but I didn’t have the courage to tell Christ – “yes”. After a long battle, I chose the religious life and each morning I arose joyfully believing that it all made sense!
“We need that youthful enthusiasm”
Something happened along the way, the more I prayed the more I hungered for God. It seemed to me that I was not doing enough. That Mother Mary expects more from me.
The thought about the religious life was obsessive and intrusive at times. It always returned even though I didn’t think I want it. I was in a great quandary and I didn’t know what to do: How will my life proceed? However, I told Mother Mary that I will do as she asks.
I waited a long time for a resolution. During the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a Priest who did not know me, clearly said, “God has some concrete plans regarding you”.
Then came a time, when I felt that this is the year, I should find myself in a convent, that I cannot delay. Then my father interceded to explain that perhaps I was reacting too hastily. That I should wait and cool off from this excessive zeal. I took his words to heart. I sat down thinking maybe he was right.
I picked up a book and read the first sentence: “We need that youthful enthusiasm” Saint John Paul II in “Crossing the threshold of hope”.
I had no more doubts!