I grew up in a bubble.
It was a lovely, sheltered, Christian bubble where I flourished. The first public school I attended was my university where I encountered people whose lives were not centered on God: the atheists, agnostics, and a biology professor who desecrated the Eucharist.
My heart ached that people would encounter Jesus through me.
As a child, I loved reading about missionary Saints who brought the Light of Christ to those living in darkness. Inspired by their example, after graduation I began teaching in secular elementary schools. The Second Vatican Council clearly called the laity to be leaven in the world, and I am grateful for that time to help others rise to the greatness God was calling them to live. (source)
However, to my surprise, Jesus did not want me to stay there. Like the twelve disciples in Matthew’s Gospel today, I listened to Jesus’ directions to not go into pagan territory. Jesus was calling me deeper into His Heart, and I began to discern the Consecrated Life. Jesus lead me from my secular life in the world to a hidden life with Him.
During my time of formation in Religious Life, I encountered many “lost sheep in the house of Israel.” My heart broke for my religious education students preparing for First Holy Communion who rarely went to Mass and my eighth graders, in a Catholic School that lost so much of its Catholic identity, who could not define the three persons of the Trinity. Also, how can there be so many who do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist?
And then Jesus surprised me again. After intense discernment, I followed Jesus out of the convent and returned home. Jesus promised more life, and He gave it! I am now proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven as a teacher at a thriving Catholic School. I never could have predicted this winding path to holiness, but I pray for the grace to continue to say yes to wherever He sends me.