“My call to religious life, like that of many others, did not come in isolation. It arose as one among several good opportunities from which I could choose. I was not grasping at this choice as a last chance because there was nothing else to do. God provided a rich array of invitations and allowed me to see that they were all good. I looked for which choice would allow me to be most at home in myself, to be generous in service to others and to live the dream that God was dreaming for me.
When I started to embrace God’s call I began to discover what my gifts were—what I was good at, what gave me energy and joy and provided me with what I needed to be interiorly at home. Of all the things that I could do, I wanted to choose what would let me give myself away in service to God and God’s people. Frederick Buechner, a writer and Presbyterian minister, defines “call” as “the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” Ultimately, my call to religious life made a way for God’s dream to be lived out in me and for me to be joyful. The thought that I could love deeply, work professionally and minister to God’s people was exciting. It spoke to me of the fullness of God’s word with all its promise and potential. Coming to recognize these aspects of call has helped me to listen more deeply with others for how God is moving them. I suggest that those who are discerning a call meet with someone like a vocation director, who can accompany them on the journey. That provides a way of reflecting on all of life’s experiences and helps them to listen for God’s dream and their deep joy.”
— Sister Charlene Diorka, S.S.J.,
writing about her vocation in the current issue of America.