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Vocation Stories

Vocation Story: Sr. Maria Kateri

By July 13, 2022July 18th, 2022No Comments

If you were to ask me to list my favorite athletic activities, wrestling would not be on my list…

Yet make no mistake, I’m an experienced wrestler…with God! And I am happy to say … He won! My greatest challenge in responding to God’s call to religious life was surrendering my childhood dream to become a doctor. I was pre-med at University and was interviewing at medical schools.

Let me give you a peek into one of my many wrestling matches with God. It was the night before one of the medical school interviews — at my dream medical school. I could taste my dream about to become true! But there was something wrong: I should be thrilled – I’ve dreamed of this moment and yet I did not have peace, not nervousness about the interview, but a lack of peace in my heart. So I went on my knees and said, “Ok, Ok Lord, if You do not want me to go to medical school, please, don’t let me get accepted because if I get accepted, I’m going.” I went back to bed, pondered, then went on my knees again and said, “But I don’t want to get rejected, so I’ll take getting on the wait list.”  And that is what happened; I was placed on the waiting list.

But the wrestling did not end there. So I went on a retreat. There a priest posed two questions. These questions could also be directed to you. First, “Do you really believe with all your heart that God wants your happiness more than you do?” I could say yes to that. Second question:“Do you really believe with all your heart that God knows more than you do what will make you happy?” I could not say yes at that time. Why? I was still clinging to my ideas of happiness.

So how did I eventually surrender to God? I slowed down and cultivated silence. I discovered that silence is God’s love language . I spent more time in prayer, meditating upon Scripture and listening – listening to His gentle whisper – inviting me to leave everything and follow Him. It is in silence that we hear the Lord’s voice calling us. Cardinal Robert Sarah said, “In the silence of our hearts, we discover our identity, our dignity and our vocation.”

I was deeply attracted to the charism of the Sisters of Life. I learned about them through my involvement in the pro-life movement: I prayed outside abortion facilities, volunteered at a home for pregnant women, and regularly defended the dignity of human life at my job in medical research – even to the point of refusing to analyze cells in an experiment that was unethical. Finally, making a great leap of faith, I entered the Sisters of Life and professed Final Vows in 2003.

The Lord’s call is personal and unique, as is His love. He is calling you to offer the gift of your unique love, and to open your heart to receive His love and His hope.