this picture, is the project we did at circles of discernment. it is my “SHAPE for discernment.”
S – Spiritual Gifts, H – Heart (Passions), A – Abilities, P – Personality, E – Experiences –> a visual representation if you will, of my SHAPE – a closer look at the inner crystal. let’s see what is in store for me. sr. t will be revisiting my SHAPE with me, for the next couple of years that i am here. here we go.
today was the kick off week for vocation week at st. louis university, here in baguio city (not missouri. haha!). there are a number of religious orders from all over the philippines – many religious who traveled from manila, pampanga, tagaytay, different places, just to represent their order at vocation week, here at SLU.
this morning, sr. bernadette and i spoke to one of the theology classes, and it was great! they were a quiet crowd, but they were attentive. very attentive! sr. bernadette opened, and i shared my story about my journey from corporate america –> CMC missioner, and interestingly enough, being in the philippines, and also aware of the many challenges/expectations that many of the college kids here have to go through, i made sure to point that out…which was, the expectation of nursing. haha.
it’s kind of just like the “filipino” thing to do. become a nurse. ask a filipino. they will know what you are talking about! growing up, the expectation was that i would be a nurse. well, guess what – i tried, and i failed. legit, FAILED. that was NOT my calling. i shared parts of my mission story with the class this morning, and it was also wonderful to hear sr. bernadette give witness to her story, which led to her discovering her vocation as a religious sister. it was very inspiring, and i was thinking about how fortunate i was, to have the opportunity to share my story and also be a part of vocation week. so good!
in the afternoon, i hung out at the exhibit with sr. terezinha…ate lunch (rice, chicken, and puto) at SLU (by myself. haha it was a sad story. hahaha, looking out the window, being like, “woe is me.” haha, not really!), talked with some students, chatted it up with the pauline sisters, and then it was the afternoon class that sr. b and i were assigned to speak at.
it was in the school of nursing, and there were A LOT of students in the class. to facilitate, we had them arrange themselves in a circle, and we had them think about, why did they choose nursing? we then had them share aloud. well, no one did. so what did we do? we picked on people. that’s RIGHT! a lot of the responses went like this…”my parents wanted me to…so now, i like it.” “my mom, my dad, my brother, my 2 sisters are all nurses…sooo me too.” “my sisters would always talk medical terms and watch House and other medical tv shows, and i wanted to know what they were talking about.” and THEN, there was another guy that sr. b picked, and he said, “well, i’m starting to think nursing isn’t where my calling is. i need God’s help.” boom.
so then that kicked off our conversation with the theology class on discernment, vocation, listening to your heart, and reminding each person that it is not a competition (each person’s call), and truly we, ourselves, are the only ones who can answer our own personal call and understand, and live it to its fullest. so i gave my story, sr. b gave her story, and it was nearing 5pm, everyone was tired…and i was for sure, that half of them had turned into zombies.
BUT…sure enough – one student came up, and said they had written a prayer of thanksgiving for sr. b and me, “ate crystal.” and so she read it…it was SO moving. like, really? it was such a blessing to be in the classroom again, and i loved the opportunity to be like a teacher again. even if the students told me at the end of class, that i look just as young as they are. hahaha, she then said it was a compliment. haha, so i took it as that, of course! 🙂 but it was thanking us for sharing our mission stories with them, and she also threw in the quote from jeremiah the “for i have plans for you…” scripture. it was just very special to receive that feedback.
the mass at the end of the day was given by father xavier, sj. yes, jesuit! woot woot! 2 things – 1) he definitely quoted frederick buecher’s quote…my fave…”the place where God calls you is where your deep gladness meets the world’s greatest need.” which i shared with the morning class (of course)! and 2) he ended his homily with father arrupe’s quote on, ” fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” he threw in the words, passion, and asked us, what moved you today? who did you talk to today that left a mark with you? what did you notice today?
he shared stories of different religious, and how they made courageous moves in their lives, because of the calling they received…one woman was the only surgeon (a special type of surgeon) in the country, making tons and tons, but quit her job, and is now living a life of simplicity as a religious sister. another story of a woman who was working at the world bank in new york, making tons of money, but quit, because she felt she had to return to the philippines, and she felt at home, once again, this time, as a religious. the number one scholar/basketball player at a college, having an amazing scholarship to pursue studies in neuroscience, leaves it all, to enter seminary…like, what?! well, he did seminary, and they are now providing for him to continue his studies. haha, the priest was like, we can’t waste that gifted brain of his (something like that!) yes. this exists, and this is reality, and it was AWESOME. and inspiring. and my brain started thinking.
sr. bernadette shared with a class today that God never gets outdone in generosity. God continues to give, and give, and give, and give, and gives GENEROUSLY, and rewards greatly, especially in moments where there is great challenge, difficulty, and sacrifice/risk made. a courageous heart to answer your call.
what a concept. i’ll keep you updated. 🙂