Miss Debbie a young lady in her early twenties proves virtuous in her demeanor and external appearance. Her consistency and regular attendance at parish masses, programmes and meetings gave her the title Saint Debbie.
Daily and daily her popularity grew in St. Humbert Parish, Nikoti. All and sundry as far they were parishioners of her faith community wanted to be associated with her.
I miraculously saw Saint Debbie as she was called; in a Legion Function tagged Annual General Reunion (AGR), so having heard a lot about her and her wonderful and virtuous lifestyle I thought it a good thing to say hello and perhaps hear from the saint herself so I could at least be inspired in my own little way to serve God more devoutly.
After the meeting I met Debbie and exchange of pleasantries took place and then we went into discussions about the spiritual life and its struggles and rewards. From all indication, Debbie was good at discussions of this nature and her wisdom and knowledge about the church, the saints and true catholic spirituality greatly impressed me.
As the discussion grew hotter, other legionaries joined in the interaction and before we knew it, it was as though a symposium was taking place only for us to realize later that all those we were waiting and enjoying the discussion were all waiting for the vehicle that is suppose to convey them to their destinations. So it was a good time to waste in learning new things.
Just towards the end of our discussion, I asked to know if Debbie would be interested in becoming a Religious Sister and to no one’s surprise she simply answered in the affirmative. Immediately after she answered this question a young lady and a woman started yelling out loud; ” why you want go become sister self? You no go born ooo, you no go marry, infact, you no go enjoy life oooo. aunty please don’t go, you will be sad all your life.” Everywhere was now still only for the vehicle they were all waiting to show up and the assembly called up suddenly.
My answer to Debbie was simple; if you pray, discern and feel this call to religious life kindly respond by going, please don’t mind them. She thanked me and we parted ways.
On my way home I began thinking about the words of that young lady and the woman to Debbie. Although harsh and raw; could those words be true? I thought!!!!
Could it be true that the religious life is not a happy life??
Upon further research and experience it dawned on me that although a tough and serious life, the religious life is a happy, happier and happiest way of life for those who have been called by God and have responded whole hearted to this call to live in poverty, chastity and obedience.
By why should a religious sister be happy when its obvious the life is a serious one and almost without fun…
A religious sister is happy because of one thing… Love. She is happy because she has discovered her lover and has given herself to love him completely. She is happy because life with her lover is true fun. She is happy because in loving her lover she extends the same love to all men and women in the service to renders to the world and the church. She is happy because babe loves and only in love is true happiness found.
Thus, whether she is playing football, watching the T.V., playing cards, going shopping and having fun; a religious is doing all these with the love of God in her heart.
A sister shares here experience thus; “I left home at the age of 15 to follow my dream and for 45 years I have been living it out. When I chose to be a religious sister I was not scared because I knew that God who loves me was calling me. I have enjoyed and love being in the convent and living with the sisters. Although I missed my family very much but I loved God so much that I know this is what I am called to do.
She goes on describing her experiences thus; “My journey has afforded with me with many opportunities to be with God’s people through teaching and administration; being a sister has given me the opportunity to meet many types of people and learn from them. It doesn’t seem possible that I have been a sister for 45 years… it sounds long and old, but I feel young and I’m thankful and grateful for my life and for all the people who have been part of it. I thank God; am happy.”
Little wonder Pope Francis while addressing a group of religious sisters charged them to live out their vocation of joy saying, “Dear sisters, be always joyful, and even noisy!” and witness everywhere the beauty of your consecration to God and to the Gospel…”.
While we may sometimes think that a Sister’s life is lonely and joyless, perhaps because of what we see and other exceptions experience; research has shown that the most happiest people on earth are those dedicated to the service of God and humanity.
What other joy, what other peace, what other love does one seek or need that a sister does not possess in abundance?
St. Augustine gave an answer to this when he said; to fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.
Indeed the life of a Religious sister is a happy one.
By: Gaudete Monday.