Teacher, where are you staying? …
Come and see. (Jn 1:38)
Jesus was a very intriguing character: imagine His personality, His actions, the company He kept. This is why the two disciples boldly ask Jesus where He is staying; they want to see more of this intriguing person! In response, He opens “the door of His life” to them, allowing them to come and see.
As consecrated women, we are invited to imitate our Lord in this way. There is a beautiful mystery about religious life: no words can adequately explain the way the Lord has touched individual hearts. “It is hard to put into words the happiness you feel when you know that Jesus seeks you, trusts in you, and with his unmistakable voice also says to you: ‘Follow me!’” (Benedict XVI)
However, there is also an unnecessary mystery about consecrated life: what are the things one can and cannot do, how does one spend the day, and most importantly, are consecrated women really happy or just acting like they are? Pope Francis is challenging the religious communities to open their convents and let their life be seen. Recently, the Apostles of the Interior Life organized a vocational retreat for women who were sincerely interested in seeing their life from within. Through meditations, prayers, and meaningful conversations, they were able to share the heart of religious life. The women asked numerous deep and vulnerable questions; in lieu of the originally scheduled game night, their curiosity resulted in an improvised Q&A that ended very late! Some shared how they had heard His voice, as well as the shock caused by His invitation. Truly He pursues the ones He has chosen for His mission in the depths of their hearts!
The Lord continues to bless the Apostles of the Interior Life community with new vocations; women who are not afraid to respond to His call. Last January, Catherine Porter (pictured above) left behind family & friends, career, and a good life in Seattle, WA to move in with the Sisters in Lawrence, KS, to begin formation. Within a week she was joined by Alexa van Lerberg (pictured below), from Shawnee, KS, who had just graduated from KU. Also, this summer a couple of women will come to Italy for a “Come and See” experience to encounter the whole AVI community.
“Vocational Discernment is a long process unfolding over time, during which one continues to monitor the signs used by the Lord to indicate and specify a vocation that is very personal and unique. … Mary herself makes progress in the awareness of her vocation through meditating on the words she hears and the events which took place, even those she did not understand (cf. Lk 2:50-51).”
If you would like to help the AVI community and offer prayers for the young women in formation, the young women who are discerning, and for more young women to consider this call, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, please keep in your prayers the Synod of Bishops that will take place October 2018 to treat the topic: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.”
 Preparatory Document of the Synod on “Youth, faith and vocational discernment”