“Religious life won’t mean a thing if one doesn’t encounter God in the Convent”

On the first day on 2013, I decided to enter in the convent I did not know what it means to be a Religious Missionary. All I knew was that I will be with Christ. During the aspirancy and postulancy, all I thought was that being a Religious Missionary is enough, if one knows how to cook, decorate, or have all kinds of talents and degrees. Because of that culture, I was trying hard to focus on my doing, forgetting that God is within me. Focusing then on my doing, talents and knowledge I have no more time for my own self. These has troubled me so much that I was full of negative thoughts, jealousy, anger, even too ambitious which often led me to compete with my companions or even compared myself with others. Each time I made mistakes I turned into sorrow and blamed myself for not good enough.  I even felt that religious life has no meaning yet, a place for competition, judging, anger, hatred and Jealousy. But God has not given up on me whom He has called.

I believe that He has already prepared time for me to discover my call as a gift from Him. It happened that when I became a Novice, I came to sense that I was called to be myself. During a year of prayer and reflections, I felt that being a missionary on my first mission is to be with myself, for being myself is prayer in itself. Prayer should be prioritized as my authentic identity. It is in prayer that I discovered my nothingness but loved. From the moment I gave my time to Jesus I realized that He loves me not because of what I do but who I am.

When we give more time to be ourselves, we will know that the authentic Peace, Joy and Love does not come from outside world, they are within us. Discovering myself as loved by God, I also discover many things hidden within me. First of all, I discover myself as a precious child of the Beloved. Second, I discovered the face of God in others. Third, I discover that being in the religious life is nothing if one does not encounter God within herself. Therefore, knowledge, talents, creativity are nothing if one has no love nor good attitudes. Our attitude is the expression of the Gospel that we read and the prayer that we recite. It is difficult to be good if this goodness does not derive from within. For the source of all goodness, Peace, Love, and Joy is God alone and Prayer is the key to unlock them.

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