The longer I live in community, the better I understand St. Theresa's vocation to Love. Her heart longed to do all things in the Church while living within the enclosure of her monastic home surrounded by her sisters. Even though I live with a freedom to teach and do that she did not have, there are times when my heart calls out to serve in new ways away from my own monastery home. However, the vocation of Love that the Little Flower taught brings all the other ways of serving to me. To do all things with love becomes prayer and doing all things for your sisters with love changes you day by day.
Benedict said that God loves a cheerful giver; Theresa might say the same thing about those who live with love for all they do. With this attitude in mind, the smallest chores or assignments become a new way to show me care and love for the sisters I live with and the students, teachers, and staff that I serve with...Love changes everything...myself included.
"I feel in me the vocation of the priest. I have the vocation of the Apostle. Martyrdom was the dream of my youth and this dream has grown with me. Considering the mystical body of the Church, I desired to see myself in all of them. Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places...in a word, that it was eternal! Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my Love...my vocation, at last I have found it...My vocation is Love!" ~ Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, Story of a Soul