All for the Heart of Jesus through the Heart of Mary!

How does one become a religious sister?
Sr. Silvia Maria Tarafa, SCTJM
For private use only -©


I was recently asked, “How does one become a religious sister?” The reality is -it is God who chooses us to be His spouse; He does the election. And the fact He desires us, that He chooses us –remains an astonishing mystery throughout our lives. What is left to the woman when she senses this invitation to be set apart for God- to be all His, is to either say to our Lord:  yes or no.

Why would a woman decline the Lord’s invitation to marry Him? It cannot be our weakness that forfeits the gift of being spouses of Christ, since the Lord assures us that in our weakness – He is our strength; what we cannot do, He will do in us. Sadly, we can shut out our joy when we are overcome by fears: of the unknown, of our past mistakes, of losing what we know and love, of what others will say. We can decline Jesus’ spousal love, as Pope Benedict XVI says, by believing the lie of the Enemy at the Garden and re-living his lie again – in our own lives; and thus, distrusting God, we do not open ourselves up to the gift Christ desires to give.

Unfortunately, if we choose this seemingly “safe route” we risk losing our greatest joy, the reason God created us – our fulfillment.  Instead of believing the father of lies we can believe the Father of Love. We can decide: “Lord, I trust you enough to know that you are the Fountain of happiness, thus the source of my happiness.  Though I don’t understand you choosing me, if You are asking Jesus, I open myself because – I trust You.”  We can respond to the Trinity with Mary’s fiat; though she did not fully understand what the Lord’s invitation entailed, she knew well the Love of the One asking. We can look at the numerous religious saints who surrendered themselves to our Lord’s spousal love, and we see how He filled their hearts to overflowing, enabling them to love heroically.   There reaches a point when we can no longer ignore the gnawing in our hearts that desires more, that senses it is not enough to be simply a hired hand, a friend or even a child in the Lord’s vineyard. Slowly, we learn to trust that this longing in our hearts to have a closer intimacy with Christ was placed there by Him.  And so in faith, we can decide to surrender to this yearning that cries from our depths:  “I want to be all yours – I want to be one with you. I know I don’t love you as you deserve, but You’ve  placed this desire in me so I trust You will fulfill my desire to love You. I give You the little fish and loaves of my heart for you to multiply them into an overflowing torrent of love for You. I cry out, ‘I do,’ to your invitation, and rather than succumb to my fear – I choose to be conquered by your Love.”


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