Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Ready or Not

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Ready or Not

Article excerpt

In a little less than a month, I'll make my first profession. The date has been chosen, and the invitations have been sent. The liturgy is planned.

And I'm not sure I'm ready.

Oh, I've prepared. For three years I've studied, prayed and journeyed into the life of the community. I've been accompanied by sisters who have lived their vows twice as long as I've been alive and have tried to absorb a tiny fraction of their wisdom.

I've explored the congregation's deep story and tried to remain open to the stirrings of Spirit within. When asked whether this is what I choose, I have wholeheartedly responded, "Yes!"

I'm as ready as I'm going to be, yet many days the commitment I'm about to make still feels like a total mystery. Although my life over the past three years has looked much like that of a vowed member and I have lived it as fully as I know how, professing vows qualitatively changes things. Until I begin living them, I won't know what that difference means for my life.

The closest comparison I can draw is my parallel experience of learning to farm. Earlier this year, when I was invited to teach high schoolers to grow vegetables and sell them in food deserts as a way to address the inequity in our food system, I jumped at the opportunity. Having volunteered at a small-scale organic vegetable farm before, I assumed I had some idea what I was getting myself into. I was very wrong.

Without a doubt, it has been one of the most physically and emotionally demanding experiences of my life. …

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