Focus on "I can"

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Perseverance forges character, and character, hope; and hope does not disappoint. Romans 5:3-5

I’ve been at Notre Dame learning strategies to improve Catholic schools’ outreach to and success with Latino children, and the program has been quite helpful. But lots of what we’ve learned is applicable to other things … including, in this case, religious life.

Consider this line: “I can think of all the reasons of why I can’t … or I can do all the reasons that makes it I can.”

I believe our American Benedictine foundress would have nodded at that line. Mother Benedicta Riepp focused on the “I can.” Within 10 years, she grew a group of 6 young women to 6 Benedictine communities of women, all working tirelessly to care for orphaned and underserved children in terrible conditions. They had to build their own shacks, find their own food, haul their own water … and teach, feed, comfort and care for their wards!

Mother Benedicta focused on “I can.” Let’s honor her example. Let’s all focus on “I can.” We must stop obsessing about why we can’t do, and realize we are called to do.

In particular, we must stop focusing on why we can’t respond to God, and respond.

And if God is calling you to religious life, listen. Focus on “can” … and email me at Let’s forge a new path through the unknown … together.

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