"GOD is LOVE." 1 John 4:8
This Scripture passage is one of my favorites. It's such a simple statement about God, but quite a mystery. It took me a long time to understand what this Scripture truly means in my life.
The Great Jubilee Year of 2000 was a year of conversion and growth in my relationship with God, Whom I have placed at the sidelines of my life growing up. Through the help and guidance of my spiritual director, I deepened my understanding of God's unconditional love for me. I rediscovered my Catholic Faith. I went back to attend Sunday Mass regularly and to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Later, I started to attend some of the weekday Masses, too. I also grew in my devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
By the end of the year, I had attended four retreats at the Cenacle; and I was going to Mass and to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament daily. I was on a spiritual high in my relationship with God. Upon the arrival of the year 2001, a deep sense of gratitude to God settled within me for truly knowing and experiencing His unconditional love. At the same time, a profound sense of restlessness and longing filled my heart to respond to God's Gift of Love. Everything in my life seemed to be where it should be --- a stable and fulfilling career as an occupational therapist, good friendships and family relationships, a growing spiritual life, and a comfortable lifestyle. However, I felt that there's more to my life than these.
In my prayers and with the guidance of my spiritual director, I started to think about my possible call to religious life. A sense of restless excitement and anticipation settled within me. My heart was burning with great expectations. I sought the advice of a priest, and he told me to continue to pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance in my life. I searched through the internet, some vocation media materials I stumbled upon, and visited some religious communities. It was overwhelming, but I felt a sense of rightness and excitement in all my search. I liked all the information I gathered.
I finally decided to be a part of the Congregation of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament after visiting with them for about five months. The stormy weekend of "Allison" in June 2001 was a turning point in my discernment. My weekend with the Sisters filled me with a sense of belonging and peace. Witnessing two Sisters renew their vows after 60 years was very inspiring. "Here I am, Lord; I've come to do Your Will..." --- when I sang this hymn at Mass, it felt like I was making my own promise to God.
I knew then that He was calling me to be an Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Sister.
I officially became a member of the Congregation in August 19, 2001 when I was received as an affiliate. After 11 months, I started living in the Convent as a pre-novice; and entered the novitiate on my birthday, July 26, 2003. I made my first profession of vows in August 21, 2005, and through God's loving grace I made my perpetual profession last August 8, 2009. Since I've said my "YES", I praise and thank God that He continues to give me the grace to be faithful and to persevere.
Praised Be The Incarnate Word!
Perpetual Profession of Vows
August 8, 2009 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church