My first semester at Edgewood College is drawing to a close. Living in a new city and a new house approaches its 4-month anniversary. The end of April closed the curtain on the Inter-Community Pre-Novitiate (ICPN) in Racine, spent with eleven wonderful candidates and our equally wonderful Formation Directors – especially mine! And turmoil within the Church has churned up questions, not the least of which has been “why would anyone want to enter Religious life today, at this time, in this Church?” I’ve wrestled with that one lately, and have had more than a few chats with our very patient God as a result. So why would a woman want to enter Religious life today?
I don’t know … why do some people bungee jump? I imagine it’s because they love the resulting thrill and rush. (Not a good analogy, perhaps.) Or why would anyone want to become a nuclear physicist? Truthfully, I have no idea but I suppose it might be because she or he loves the intersection of math and science and the challenges that poses. (Again, maybe not the best analogy.) Ok, then, why do we golf when the odds of getting a hole in one are 5,000 to 1, at best? We golf because we love being outdoors; we love competition; we love the game. (Still, not quite the right analogy.)
How about this one … why do so many couples insist on getting married when 50% of all marriages end in divorce? They get married because they love each other. They listen to their hearts and, against all odds at times, they take the leap, make the plunge … fill in your own cliché. They answer God’s call to that particular and sacred vocation. Which is why I think women still want to enter Religious life today. It is not about them. It has never been about them. It has always been about a loving response to the call of a loving God.
How have you heard God calling you recently? Are you listening? How are you responding?
Kathy Flynn, Candidate