Random Nun Clips

How can I prepare to enter religious life?

Podcast Recorded: August 21, 2013
young people pray together

Looking forward to entering a religious community, a listener wonders what she should be doing to prepare for religious life. The Nuns have suggestions!

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Show Notes

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Transcript (Click for More)+

Sister Rejane  
This Random Nun Clip is brought to you by A Nun's Life Ministry.

Sister Maxine  
We're on a Motherhouse Road Trip at the US Province of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Des Plaines, Illinois. Joining us are Sister Michele Fisher and Sister Michael Marie Franzak. We have our first question that came in from Michelle from New Jersey. And Michelle asks, "I'm discerning with a congregation of sisters. And if all goes well with my discernment, I can enter next year. I am super excited and nervous. What are some things I could be doing to prepare myself to enter religious life? Should I be going to Mass every day? What prayer should I be saying other than the Rosary and morning prayer? And are there any particular passages in the Bible that I should read?" And she adds, "Many thanks."

Sister Julie  
Well, first, I would just say what a wonderful place to be in. Know of all of our prayer, certainly the four of us here and the sisters here, as you continue to enter into this journey with God.

Sister Maxine  
So sisters, any advice here for Michelle? What kind of preparations could she be doing prayer wise in particular? Maybe Sister Michele, you can respond to that first.

Sister Michele  
One of the best preparations is for Michelle to be involved in her parish. There are many ways for young people to begin to live that vocation already, to be in relationship. If there's a youth or young adult group that she can be a part of, a prayer group. Because I think having the support of others, especially a faith community, is very important in discernment. And also, if she has opportunities to spend some time with the congregation, many times they have an opportunity for service or times when the community would gather that it's good for that young person to come in and just be with them and form some bonds. And finally, seek spiritual direction. If you don't have a spiritual director, this is a real important time to have somebody in your life that will do that.

Sister Maxine  
Were there any particular prayers or any particular Bible passages as you were discerning religious life that come to mind that you found helpful? Or any prayer practices?

Sister Michele  
I found going to daily Mass was a great practice. And also any kind of faith sharing groups. They have a lot of groups now with Eucharistic Adoration, Lectio Divina. I didn't have that at the time when I was discerning. But I know it's very important for our young people today to be with other young adults who can just support them and pray with them. There are many scripture passages that certainly help us to think about vocation. And also, I don't know if this religious community has the resource. It's called God, grant me a discerning heart. And it's published by the National Religious Vocation Conference. Most of our people in discernment use that with me. It's meant to be with someone in person, but the Scripture passages are all there. And then they also ask some very personal questions. And it's a wonderful resource that takes you through all the categories that are important. Everything from family life, to your thoughts about church, your sexuality. They're very appropriate. So it's a wonderful resource. So maybe ask a spiritual director or someone from the community to do that. That's a good practice.

Sister Michael Marie  
I also think that listening to music, just being reflective. There are many, many songs -- and if Michelle doesn't sing, she could grab a song book and just read the words of the songs. There's so many that talk about service, so many that talk about call. Psalm 139 -- God, you know, me through and through, you know. And the Spirit will speak.

Sister Maxine  
And so to create that environment and open yourself up to some music or some lyrics would be a good way. And I think that's a wonderful way. There's so much good music out there. We were just at that Pollock Seminar. Noelle Garcia was her name -- wonderful musician -- introduced us to some new music.

Sister Michele  
She had a great song last night. It was on faith. And it was something to the effect of, give me the faith of this little girl who, when she hears her daddy come through the front door, she leaves her crayons on the floor, and she goes running into his arms. And that's a wonderful image for all discerners.

Sister Maxine  
It was. And at the seminar yesterday when they were performing, her husband is actually the guitarist, and they had their children with them. They were In the process of moving from Michigan to Kansas, and they stopped to give a concert right in the middle of it. And so their children were there, and the children got loose from the babysitter and right as they were playing, they ran up onto the stage. And the parents were so lovely with them, picked them up, held them in their arms. And the husband, the guitarist, was able to hold a child in one hand and still play the electric guitar.

Sister Michael Marie  
And that's pretty impressive.

Sister Maxine  
That was really impressive. Any other kinds of advice that we want, might want to offer Michelle? Maybe just to keep up that excitement, and it's gonna feel a little bit nervous and excited, as you mentioned, but keep up that excitement and know that we are praying with you every step of the way, Michelle, as you continue that journey into religious life.

Sister Rejane  
To hear full episodes of A Nun's Life podcasts, visit the podcast page at anunslife.org/podcasts.

This transcript has been lightly edited for readability.

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