The Road Less Traveled – Not Just for Saints!

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Saints are always forsaking their evil ways for Godly ones … or, in the language of the Church, experiencing conversion. Think of some of the biggies, like St. Francis and St. Augustine. They changed everything.

But conversion isn’t just for saints, and it’s not just about forsaking evil. As Michael Casey says in The Road to Eternal Life, “We often think of conversion as being a change from a life of sin to a life of virtue; more often it is a matter of being called forth from our harmless comfort zone to take a less-traveled road into strange and unfamiliar territory.”

Why does it matter?

Because it helps us evaluate what we’re doing … and why.

When we accept that we are being called, we experience conversion. When we discern what we are being called to, we experience conversion. When we respond to the call, we experience conversion.

No matter where it leads.

Michael Casey’s line made me think of Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Less Traveled: “I took the (road) less traveled by,/ And that has made all the difference.”

When people find out I’m a Benedictine Sister, they ask, “Are women still really choosing religious life?” and “Why did you chose this in today’s world?”

The answer is simple. I was called.

I wasn’t called in a dramatic way like St. Francis or Augustine. It was in a quiet and gentle way. It was over time. I was in my mid-30s when I began to discern with the Benedictine Sisters (and Sisters Jackie and Claudia were in their late 40s).

I am not a saint. I won’t have a great impact on the whole world. But I answered my call to live out the Gospel with a community – this community! – of Benedictine Sisters.

I was called to take the road less traveled and it has truly made all the difference.

If you have the feeling you might be being called to take the road less traveled, make an email to me the next step on your journey. I will walk with you. smacdonald@smmsisters.org

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