A few thoughts on life-long commitment
by Marie Minh Châu
Until 2007, I had never thought of becoming a nun. All through my initial formation years, I was constantly asking myself “Is this becoming a Sister of Our Lady truly what I am?” Whenever I was faced with challenges presented by my shortcomings and failings, I worried that I would not be able to see this vocation through. And sometimes the thought would cross my mind: “I’m going back to my family”.
The time came for me to think through and set out my request to make my life-long commitment, and this gave me the opportunity to look back over my life and the distance I had travelled thus far in my vocation. I had two weeks to complete this process of discernment and make my final decision. Finally, after 8 years following this vocation, I truly felt that I belonged to this Congregation. While I am aware of my failings and limitations, I now have a better understanding of the mystery of my vocation: “You did not choose me. No, I chose you.” (John 15, 16), and the choice that the Lord has made gives me the strength to follow him all my life with love, and abandoning myself to his love.
I experienced that love of God, of my Sisters and of my family, so close and affectionate, during the whole Eucharistic celebration of my Perpetual Profession. As I knelt before the altar and heard the names of our Holy Founders in the Litany of Saints, my heart trembled. As I sang the Suscipe, that hymn of commitment, and signed my name on the Profession Certificate, I felt that I was loved. It was the Lord who gave me the strength to make my public profession, who took me by the hand to sign, so that from then on, he would guide me in living out my vocation, he would give me companions for the journey who would love me and support me in following Christ. At the end of Mass, my newly-professed Sister and I both thanked our families from the bottom of our hearts, and all those who made us feel that we were loved and accepted as we were. Our thanks are addressed to the Congregation, to all the Sisters who have helped us find our identities, recognise the hand of God in our lives, and live happy in our vocation. I also want to thank my teachers, friends, colleagues… Each of you is a gift, showing me the feet, the hand of God guiding me and allowing me to experience his love and providence.
For me, this life-long commitment is just the start of an adventure, full of new difficulties and challenges, which will demand a more mature response from me in accepting responsibilities and new missions: it is also an invitation to commit even more decisively and faithfully to my vocation. But of this, I am certain: whatever I do, “you held my right hand, now guide me with your counsel” (Ps 73, 23), the Lord will support me and hold me in his arms.
Marie Minh Châu