Last week a family member joined a convent, a division of the Dominican sisters. It is difficult for those of us raised in American protestant homes to understand why a beautiful young woman would make a choice like this.
I was with the family last weekend as we experienced her last weekend with us. It’s not that we would never see her again, but we knew her visits home would be limited, and although there is letter writing, emails and texting would not be available for her.
We did the usual things—shopping, dining, and some leisure activities such as boating. We also had scheduled a visit with a photographer for family photos, which is always an interesting experience. Afterward, since we were dressed up, we decided to go to a nice restaurant. As we were enjoying our time together, the youngest brother quipped, “This is sort of like the last supper.” He didn’t mean it to be sacrilegious, and we smiled.
As I have pondered her choice for the last several months, I have come up with some questions. How strong is my faith in God? How much of my life could or should I give in service to God? Matt 25:40 “whatever you did for one of the least of these…you did for me.”
How can I keep myself unstained by the obsessions of our society? I have been reading through the Old Testament on a weekly Bible reading program, and I see the Israelites constantly forgetting their God and wandering toward the gods of the nations around them. Then they suffer. I ask myself, “why couldn’t they have remained faithful to God?” It seems we have the same temptation.
Even though I am not in a monastery, I can increase my prayer time and worship of God and the frequency of my service to others in need.