Thursday, May 7, 2009

A new experience...

Yesterday I was interview by a newspaper reporter. Mr. Lohmann, a kind and curious journalist from the Richmond Times - Dispatch, came to ask me a few questions about “Nun Better”, the no-budget cooking show I’ve been doing on YouTube. I was a bit anxious at first, but quickly the interview felt more like a good conversation. I have no doubt that the article will be interesting, not because I’m all that interesting, but because Bill sees “human interest” in a Benedictine sister who periodically "moonlights" as a chef – not for personal profit but for visibility and the good of our community. I am grateful to this reporter for the hour he spent with me yesterday and for the afternoon video shoot we've planned for next Monday. We (Bill and me) will be on the RTD website cooking something wonderful together. Another first for Sister and probably not the last first for this monastic on a journey! I’ll keep you posted…
Blessings and love to you all…
- Sister Vicki

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Big day in my line of work...

It’s Sunday at the monastery…and I’m filled with gratitude for the gift of presence – the blessing of being here, body and soul. Today, the universal Church celebrates the 4th Sunday of Easter and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. (Now, everyone has a vocation – married or single, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers. This day of prayer is specific to GOD’s call to religious life and ordained ministry.)

The Holy Father chose a Sunday in the Easter season. What a wonderful way to highlight the joy of our life as religious, priests and deacons. I maintain that joy is a verifiable side-effect of a genuine call and the best advertisement for the life. Maybe, today, you could think of someone who might have the gifts to live a religious vocation. There is a skill-set that helps in the transition to community life:
1. A willingness to learn, to be formed by the life and by women whose feet have been steady on the path
2. A healthy respect for boundaries – both personal and communal
3. The capacity for intimacy – the ability to share yourself in trust and vulnerability
4. Experience with failure and its lessons
5. A forgiving nature

These are not “prerequisites”, merely skills that serve us well in monastic life. Some can be acquired over time and through experience. What is non-negotiable is the sincere desire to seek GOD and the mutual determination of the candidate and the community. Discernment takes time. There is no such thing as a “shot-gun” profession. I often see my role as the “pace car” – you know, the one that rides ahead of the racers who are yearning to cut loose and “put the pedal to the metal.” My job is to slow everyone down and help them round the tricky curves that come our way in serious discernment. I like the image – obviously.

So…where was I? Oh, yes…think of someone whom GOD might be calling. Close your eyes and hold them in your heart. Pray… Ask for GOD’s will to unfold. Pray that they might be given the courage to check out this weird, wonderful life. If they are meant for it, they will know joy like Easter and deep peace like Christmas. If they are meant for it, they will race to the finish line, “their hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love (RB Prol. 49).”

Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki