This month I'm attending the Summer Institute of the National Religious Vocation Conference, otherwise known as "Vocation Director School."  This is in preparation for moving into vocation ministry next year when I finish my degree.  I believe with all my heart in the future of religious life and my own community, and I suspect that God is indeed calling women to join us in our mission of peace. This course is to give me some of the nuts and bolts around how you actually promote vocations and work with candidates.

The last few days we've been focused on the application and screening process. I've had flashbacks to my own experience of completing the application for candidacy to my community, which of course is documented on this blog. My reaction from the way back machine? "Whew! Guess this would winnow out those who weren’t so serious."

Seriously. This is important stuff. You want to make sure that the people who join your community are able to live the life as a Sister fully ... for life. That requires a certain level of screening and assessment which is more than understandable. However, if I thought the process seemed daunting from the side of the applicant, looking at it from the side of the Vocation Director can be just as daunting!

Which is where today's readings come in. As I prayed with the Scripture this morning, I found myself reflecting both on the the first reading and the Gospel.

From Isaiah: 
O LORD, you mete out peace to us,for it is you who have accomplished all we have done.

From Matthew's Gospel:

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,for I am meek and humble of heart;and you will find rest for yourselves.For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

The take away? Perspective. And trust. As we say in our CSJP Constitutions:

As we live our vows each daywe trust that Christ's blessing promisedto peacemakers will sustain us,knowing that God working in uswill accomplish more than we can askor imagine.

My task these weeks is to soak up as much information as I can that will help me when I move into this ministry. I will also learn from the current vocation director (who was my own awesome vocation director by the way!) as I develop my own plan for this ministry. I will work with the other Sisters on the vocation team, leadership, and the whole community. We all share in our love of community and desire to continue to release the charism. Ultimately, then, my/our role is to show up and follow Jesus, trusting that God working in us will accomplish what needs to be done, even that which we cannot yet imagine.

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