|Renewing Her Vows|
The call of God is always present in one's life, but where and when it is heard differs with each individual. Some hear it in childhood and, although they get sidetracked at times with other interests, they always seem to be heading in the direction of the monastery. This does not mean that these individuals are souls of special predilection or the like. In many instances their motivation can be less than perfect, but God uses all means, the perfect as well as the imperfect, to accomplish his designs. My own experience can be used as an example. When I was six years old my father died after a very brief illness. The reality of death and the sorrow of physical separation affected me deeply. I distinctly remember thinking to myself that I would never marry because of the grief and sorrow I would experience if my husband preceded me in death. This was hardly a pure motive for entering religious life, but I believe God used this experience and motivation to awaken in me the first stirrings of a religious vocation. Several years later there was a feature story about a cloistered-contemplative Order in the daily newspaper and I was fascinated as I read about these religious who totally lived for God in prayer, solitude, and penance. I felt myself drawn and attracted to this lifestyle. As the years passed I went through all the normal stages of young womanhood and at times seriously considered marriage and various forms of religious life. But deep within there was always that attraction and pull towards dedicating myself to God in a contemplative form of life.