Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hearing the Call

Last week, I recounted my final weeks of resisting hearing God's call. This week, I'm going to talk about what it felt like when God used a megaphone so I couldn't avoid hearing!

I had been at Saint Benedict's Monastery for nine weeks. In the tenth week, I felt that I had sorted out what I was going to do with my future. I was very grateful for the time I'd spent here, but looking forward to going home. I felt settled and then ... in conversation with a sister, I spoke about my beliefs and aspirations and she posed the question, "Have you ever spoken to the Director of Vocations?" I find it quite hard to describe what happened then. It was very gentle but it was as if something shattered in my mind and there was nothing between me and God. I didn't suddenly think, "Oh, yes, I want to be a nun!" Rather, it was like understanding very calmly that I had to go further, that I was being offered an opportunity that I shouldn't ignore.
Initially, I was in a frame of mind that said, "Yes, I'll go and talk about vocation, and if the Director says 'No', then it won't be my fault. I'll have gone as far as I can." In the days that followed, however, I started to feel very differently. The only way I can describe it is that I fell in love with God; I knew that the only way I could live out that love was to give my whole self to God, and that the way I was called to give my whole self was to enter the monastery. So, from hoping that the Director of Vocations would refuse me, I moved to hoping against hope that she would accept me. This was a really testing time for me because all I could do was put my life in God's hands and trust that all would be well. 

It was. When I met with the Director of Vocations, she agreed that there was something to explore. I'll talk more about that next week, but let me say now that it is not possible to think you'd like to join the monastery and just do it. I was certain on March 8, 2006 that this was what God was calling me to do. I know that I'm blessed to have remained certain through the following years, but I also know I'm blessed that it cannot be a hurried decision because moving through the stages of commitment has certainly been part of a movement towards God.

Sister Karen Rose, OSB


  1. Thanks for sharing this blog with me. I look forward to following it. It is a gift to journey with you. Soooo glad that God called you to the Benedictine way of life. I hope you can come to Beech Grove someitme and visit. I'd love to share my community with you and show you a little of Indy.

  2. Thanks, S. Karen, for being so open and honest about your discernment process. It is a great encouragement! I often think that God only lights the road ahead of us far enough to take a small step of faith, one step at a time. As long as we are loving God with all of our heart and loving others in the process, we are in God's will for our lives. The specifics are worked out as God desires, which can be a great comfort but also a huge lesson in trust! Looking forward to more of your posts.