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National Vocations Awareness Week: Response to the Call

August 13, 2016

Vocations as God’s response to the call of our times

Living in an age of modern technology that steers rapid growth and offers endless information conveniently at our fingertips is certainly a blessing of human intelligence.   While the context of my living experience continues to expand, I cannot help but notice the poverty within myself to sufficiently contain and process these rich external life experiences. 

As my feet travelled at the speed of light, I began to question about the destination and whether it is of my heart’s longing.  I felt like my head was struggling to catch up with my feet and my heart was barely dragging my tired soul across the surface of the water called “life”.  That was the moment when my whole being yelled at me to stop, pause and listen. 

When I first approached the Sisters of St Joseph in 2010 to begin my discernment journey, I was surprised by the level of hospitality and readiness for the Josephite Sisters to pause and listen to my story.  They came across to me as humble and down-to-earth women, who are fired up for a simple mission to love, to live and to let live.  There is a kind of simplicity in the Josephite charism that I resonated with. It offers a space for deep listening and simply being. 

Over the years, I kept reflecting on a Mary MacKillop saying, “Never see a need without doing something about it.” 

Paradoxically a need is often not what is visible, it cannot be seen but could only be felt and understood.  I became deeply drawn to this way of engaging with my life and with those who are around me.  It inspired me to ask different questions and to embrace a bigger/fuller picture of my living experience as something that is purposeful and not just merely an experience. 

Mary MacKillop constantly chose to live in the deeper ends of the water, her commitment to such a way of living has inspired many to follow her footsteps, offering comfort to those who are thrown into the deep ends of a society that neglects its poor and marginalised.  She courageously attended to the need of those around her and to the needs of her time.  Through the life of Mary MacKillop, I realised the gift of vocation is God’s way of responding to the call of the world as seen through our eyes and listened through our hearts. 

My discernment journey began with the search for an answer to my vocation.  Instead of finding an answer to my question, I have found myself in a ministry that constantly questioned my vocation to respond to the need of traumatised children and adults with disabilities.  “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, Mahatma Gandhi was aware of his vocation and so was Mary MacKillop. 

By discerning a Covenant Josephite affiliation with the Sisters of St Joseph, I wish to join in the Josephite melody that sings to the tune and echoes to the needs of our time.

Cecelia Lau