The religious life Essay
The religious life – the quiet and beautiful act of serving God with love and devotion constantly tugs at my heartstrings.
I have always felt that God was calling me to serve Him in some small way throughout my life. I started serving Him as an altar server from 5th or 6th grade until I graduated from Community College in my hometown, and I felt that my small role during the Mass was exactly where God intended me to be. The blessings I received serving at the altar, I believe, was just the starting point of God stirring in my heart the direction He wanted me to go. To serve Him in some small way all the days of my life. However, once I went off to college, I put serving God aside as work and schoolwork began to consume my days, yet I still prayed. In the stressful moments, I prayed to Him for help to overcome my difficulties, and He answered in small ways I did not see until later. Though I might have put God on a shelf, and only asked Him for help when I needed it, I knew that He was always with me.
However, I did not know how God would continue to work in my life unseen and show me that serving others I was also serving Him. My life took a hard blow in 2013, two years after I graduated from college in Arkansas when my dad developed health issues. It took all my mom’s time and energy to look after him, so I moved back home to help in any way I could. Since 2013, helping my parents has been a real test of my patience and love. This trial has shown me that God is still nudging me to serve Him – by helping others. “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” from the Book of Matthew has been a constant reminder in the back of my mind. The difficulties of my dad’s health issues have shown me that God sends us storms in our lives to mold us into the people He means for us to be and that we should be grateful that He is always walking beside us. The struggles of dealing with my dad’s health has increased my awareness of God in everyday life, how He is shaping me to be a better person and how I might learn to use my love of servitude to bring joy to others.
Growing up, I never had any contact with any religious sisters. My only interaction with the nuns and the religious life was through movies such as Sister Act, Sound of Music and Bells of St. Marys. My interaction with nuns has been limited except for the times I’d see the sisters at Mass in my hometown. I have always felt drawn to their simple, loving devotion to God. Watching as they prayed to God before the Blessed Sacrament has been a real life-changing event and it has helped me grow closer to God in my prayer life. I have grown closer in my relationship with Jesus and His Blessed Mother just by watching the sisters and praying for guidance. I know that I want an intimate relationship with Jesus just like the nuns have, a relationship with Him that never fades.
Recently, in the past few months during Eucharistic Adoration, I felt that God was telling me to continue seeking Him and to not be afraid of taking a leap of faith into the unknown. Just by being in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament brings me to tears and I know that God has not abandoned me when at times, I have abandoned Him. He is still calling me to serve Him, though I don’t know where that road will lead. I put my trust in God and know that He will guide me. He wants me to serve Him, and I believe that serving Him with the sisters is the path He intends me to walk.