When I was in 8th grade, I was in an “advanced” Math class with a sweet Ursuline nun named Sr. Imelda. She had a soft voice with a comforting Irish accent, and she would always store her tissues under her buttoned sleeve as apparently some nuns do.
My place in that class remains one of life’s greatest mysteries. Math came as easy as hitting a baseball, thus explaining why I was drawn to watching games at old Shea Stadium. I was very much aware at a young age that the only time I would get on that baseball field was if I was a part of some ceremony, or if I just ran on the field as some do often after a few beers. I would never do the latter only because if you do such a thing, you are banned for life from the park, and I cannot think of many worse things in this life (of course I can, but stay with me).
Occasionally when my peers and I needed a break from algebra, one of us would raise our hand and ask this question: “Sr. Imelda, how did you get your calling to be a sister?”
She was very passionate about vocations, so she would go on and on about her life and God’s call for her to dedicate her life to educating youth. The confusing Math lesson took a shelf to the story of a life’s calling.
This lasted a few months until the parish priest found out. He paid us a visit one morning and asked us gently,and with a smile, to stop asking about Sister’s life and to stay on the topic of math.
I found myself remembering Sr. Imelda recently as I reflected on people I knew and that I know whom are living their true vocations.
You can tell this in a person quite easily. Some like Sr. Imelda just loved to talk about God’s movement in their life. They also exude a joy and a love as they do what they do. They walk their talk.
This is partly why we are drawn to that artist with an amazing voice, or a certain brush of a paint brush.
It is what makes us want to be in the mere presence of someone who can listen with an empathetic ear. It is what makes us feel better after we leave someone who is living a life in the present, sharing their authentic joy and self with you.
God provides us with many inspirational figures who show us a different way.
Their life is different.
While the face the same human struggles as we do, they show us a different way, a better way.
They love life and they unconditionally give that love to all whom they meet. You can call them angels in disguise. And to be blunt, you and I should!
This all leads us to ask ourselves a deep and important question, and it isn’t if your life is successful in terms of this world.
The question is if you are at peace?
An appropriate follow-up question is; are you in contact with God? Are you aware of your gifts and talents, and do you use them to lift others up? Are your actions speaking louder than your words, and for the better?
If you are familiar with my writing you know that I am very blessed. God has and is providing many special and impactful people who made and make me better. They revealed and reveal God to me.
My prayer tonight is that tomorrow, and all of our remaining tomorrows, that we can shed God’s light to others in our words but most of all in how we live each and every moment.
May our words and actions leave a mark. May we show a different way, one of love. One of God.
It can all end tomorrow. Let’s leave our mark in a way that will echo through the generations, not as a lone voice but as one with and of God.