By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB
Sunday’s retreat conferences struck me right where I live. They called us to live in the presence of God. Now you might think, Of course, that’s what nuns do … and you’re right! But for me, as I prepare to make my final monastic profession this summer, this theme challenges me to review.
Here’s the bottom line: For 43 years I have longed to live in the presence of God, and for the past 6 years I have come closer than ever before. Living with my Benedictine Sisters in community, praying with them daily, working alongside them: this is the path to living in the presence of God for me.
It’s about my vocation. As Michael Casey, OSB says in The Road to Eternal Life, “Christian discipleship asks no more and no less of us than that we become what God intends…To live a fully human life but also to realize as completely as possible out own individual vocation.”
Of course, God’s divine presence is everywhere. No matter where we are or what we’re doing, we live within it. So the question isn’t so much where to find God’s presence, but where to find ourselves being attentive to God!
I searched for 37 years before I truly listened and realized I have always lived in God’s presence. Benedictine life offered me a place and group of women with whom I could do it more completely in my life.
So at the age of 37, I found my vocation. As a Benedictine sister, I believe I am becoming who God truly meant me to be. I am living more in the presence of God than I ever had in my life.
How about you? Have you found who God truly means you to be? Are you searching? As Sr. Antoinette says, open yourself up to the presence of God. As St. Benedict says, Listen with the ear of your heart! If you think a religious vocation may be where God is calling you, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like many, I’ve ignored the “small, still voice” before finally responding. I’m happy to share what I know!