As the Church in America celebrates Vocation Awareness Week, we've been trying to consider different ways of sharing that invitation with our boys here at school. You'd think it would be easy since I teach at an Order school and there are monks and priests all about, but when the focus is high class academics, the students sometimes forget to see the monks who teach them as men of prayer and service, the nun who teaches them as a woman consecrated to prayer and ministry to the Church, and the lay men and women who teach them as husbands, wives, or single folk striving to follow God. As a way of reintroducing the familiar I went to the USCCB sponsored vocation website for some awesome videos, prayers, and other info! We're going to use a variety of these short videos as openers to class or discussion. It has been a bit different to focus on the vocations for men; in my previous teacher life, I would talk vocations to mixed classes or classes of women. However, I do remind them that as friends, brothers, and dads, they will have a responsibility to support the women in their lives.
One interesting discuss popped up after yesterday's video.
"So, Sister, what would you call the perks of being a sister? And you can't use all that churchy stuff," one junior asked. Before answering, I asked him what he meant by perks.
"You know, what do you get! You got a car, phone, lap top...what else do you get?"
"Ah-ha, I see," I pondered for a moment, "I get a community--a family of sisters who will support me and help me out no matter what, I get to be challenged every day to look at who I am and try to be better by seeing Christ in me and you, and I get to learn and have the chance to study at the monastery, graduate school, and everywhere. Those are my non-churchy perks."
The junior responded with a raised eyebrow, "Hmmm..."
Then I continued, "By the way, it isn't MY car, but the car my community has given me to use to travel to school and home to the monastery. It isn't MY phone, the phone is for my use since I'm living away from the monastery. It isn't MY laptop, but while I'm teaching the Prioress wants me to have what I need to do my work well. None of those things are specifically MINE."
A few more juniors raised an eyebrow and looked a bit skeptical, and the best part...they asked another question.
It was a good challenge, but I'd never looked at our life for the 'perks' before. The call to be a Benedictine Sister was such a draw of the heart and soul that visits felt like coming home. I'd visit, then go back to school (purposefully on the other side of the state) and try to prove to myself that I really wasn't called to be a sister. Then God would draw me back to the monastery. Perks? Not a part of the consideration, I just wanted to be where my heart had found a home.
Blessings and Keep Searching!