Catherine Scholastica K. Mutua is a Religious of Notre Dame of the Missions from Kenya. Her academic background was in theology and religious studies, peace and development, with certification in early childhood and Scripture. Her first ministries were in teaching nursery school and coordinating the oblates. Recently, she returned from the Philippines, where she had been living and working for 21 years, primarily involved in peace-building and development programs. She hopes to continue similar programs in the Machakos Diocese in Kenya.
Why do you stay in religious life? What gives you hope?
When I read this question, I thought of a priest with whom I was working. He was giving us a talk, and he began by saying: "When I see what is going on in our church, I feel so sad and disappointed. However, this is the same church I said yes to, and I will still stay in the same church despite all the scandals we are seeing and witnessing. I'm sure the God who called us and placed us in his church will see to it that we continue to live our calling, and God will cleanse it and perfect us for his mission."
Those were beautiful and somewhat serious words to be spoken by a young priest. It made me reflect on my own commitment to religious life and what all that means. I started asking myself what I see around me and even experience: Does it make me question the kind of life I have chosen? I think it should because I cannot just stay blind to what is happening around me and assume all is well. Is staying in religious life relevant for me today?
The answer for me is yes, and a yes with a lot of reflection and awareness if I continue to be relevant as a religious today.
What gives me hope is that the life I have chosen to live is bigger than I am. The mission I undertake is the mission of Christ, and he will see to its completion. I'm only an agent of the mission, and my saying yes to be part of the mission adds the flavor to my different activities.
I can resonate with the words of Bishop Ken Untener's "Romero Prayer": "Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us." I have the assurance that God is bigger than the tiny things I do. However small they might be, they add to the bigger picture, and God gives me the strength to do what I'm called to do.
So I stay in religious life because God in his wholeness is the ultimate, and I don't need to worry about anything.
I continue to stay and multiply God's goodness on Earth through the contributions I make. I pray for the graces I need to be faithful to the end.
We’re delighted to share with you this blog from the monthly feature “The Life” courtesy of our friends at Global Sisters Report. This month, The Life panelists responded to this prompt: Why do you stay in religious life? What gives you hope? CLICK HERE to read more blogs from The Life series, GSR’s monthly feature about the unique, challenging, and very specific lives of women religious around the world.