Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Sister Act, Trouble with Angels, The Bells of St. Mary’s, A Nun’s Story...

Editor's Note: This is a contribution from Sr.  Christina M. Neumann. You can check out her blog here.

…and the list goes on!  Chances are, you’ve probably seen at least one of these movies that offer Hollywood’s idea of what Catholic Sisters are like.

As much as we may enjoy these films and chuckle at some of the scenes, what they can offer us is only a very limited take on the real meaning and beauty of religious life.

If being a Sister isn’t just about keeping order among a bunch of unruly kids or helping a parochial school stay open, what’s the rest of the story, you might ask.

I belong to a Franciscan congregation, started in Germany way back in 1241.  Our directives beautifully answer this question, “The imitation of Christ, in love, is the way and goal of our vocation.”  Anything and everything we do in our work as Sisters is to spring from intimate union with Him.

Religious life, actually takes many forms, from the monastic observance seen in Maria Von Trapp’s abbey to the teaching sisters at St. Mary’s parochial school – and beyond!  

Let’s not forget, either, those Sisters who are especially hidden from the world, who spend their days (and part of their nights) in prayer to God on behalf of the rest of us; they have a very special place in the Church.

What we do, as Sisters, is secondary.  We are first called to build up the body of Christ through our “prayer, works of penance and the example of [our] own life,” according to the ecclesial document Christus Dominus.

Being a Sister is about a relationship of love, love for Christ our bridegroom which overflows in love for His people whom we serve.

For me, these people are elderly and vulnerable adults at our catholic assisted living home in North Dakota.  I am called to spend time with Jesus in prayer and then go and show His love to those I meet.  On any given day, this may entail any number of different little things.  

The important thing is that I seek to follow Him, “to imitate Christ in love,” and to love Him more each day.

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