In this inspiring video, Sr. Afra fcJ reflects on 25 years as an FCJ, on what religious life means to her, on what gives her joy, and gives suggestions for those searching for their path in life. Continue reading for Afra’s vocation story.
How do I know? How could I be sure?
I was in university when I felt that something stirring deep within my heart. I was finishing my thesis, already working as a music teacher, and very involved in the parish at that time. I had many friends, I had done some traveling because I like adventure. Many people saw me as already established my future: good job plus doing ministry for God, too.
Yet I was attracted to something else… something that doesn’t give profit or lots of money, something that didn’t have a career path.A road that most people wouldn’t think of: religious life. Why was I attracted to that? I couldn’t ignore the stirring, the longing for something more that will give true peace. Wherever I turned to, I recognized how much God loved me and longed for me.Some people thought that religious life is a kind of a prison in which you lose your freedom. I didn’t see it that way. I saw Love.
Who doesn’t want to go and spend her whole life with the Beloved? I do.
And then those questions came, from others and from myself: how do I know that this is what God is calling me? How could I be sure about it? Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if I leave my family, friends and job now and giving up later on, to be seen as making mistake, as a failure?
Since I loved outdoor activities, the image of my experiences climbing mountains gave me some enlightenment. As if I were climbing a mountain 2,500-3,000 meters height during the night, all I could see in our pathway was as far as the torch light reached, just 2-3 meter ahead. And somehow because I could only see near, the height of the journey became less daunting. It is the same with my journey with God. It is not about seeing the end of the journey, but about recognizing God’s presence in each step. My goal is not to achieve an end, but to live each moment with God and for God. The process becomes the end. I live in the present, and finding God in my daily life gives me joy and peace unending!!
Since ‘living in God and for God’ becomes the goal of my life, any road does not matter anymore. I could be here today, and somewhere else tomorrow. I could do one thing today, and other thing tomorrow. The measure is: do I do that for God and in God? What might be seen in other people’s eyes as turning of one’s life actually is not a failure anymore for me. My life becomes one continuous journey (with many bends and turns)… always with God.
And here I am, a Faithful Companions of Jesus, living each day with fidelity and joy… living in love with God and for the service of God’s people. Thank you, God, for this wonderful life!
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God
Corrie Ten Boom