In today’s post, Sr. Kim Kessler discusses her vocation journey and the beauty of consecrated life….
Consecrated life is a gift given by Christ, in which I choose to respond to his great love for me and form a deeper relationship with him.
As I look back on my calling to religious life, I am reminded of the first time meeting Sr. Bart in the greenhouse at St. Joseph Manor. Sr. Bart had introduced me to one of the Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteers, Suzanne, who was working with Sr. Bart in the greenhouse. After Suzanne completed her year of service she returned home to Germany, but I didn’t have her contact information. I knew Sr. Bart would be able to provide me with it, but what I didn’t know was that this would connect me with the Sisters in a deeper way.
Sr. Bart and I would have 10-15 minute conversations every morning. These conversations provided the foundation for building a meaningful relationship. I remember Sr. Bart inviting me over to the Provincialate for Taize Prayer. I asked her what Taize Prayer was, to which she responded, “Come and see.” I wasn’t Catholic at the time (I was Presbyterian), but Sr. Bart saw something in me at the time that I did not see myself. Any time Sr. Bart would invite me to the Provincialate, I would just keep showing up. Something kept drawing me to the Provincialate and I wasn’t sure why, but I just kept listening to the inner promptings of my heart. Sr. Bart helped me research what I needed to do in order to become Catholic. I attended classes for almost a year, and lived as a lay Catholic for three years before I could move in with the Sisters to discern religious life.
I discerned my call to religious life for two years and was then invited to go to Germany for World Youth Day. This gave me the opportunity to get to know the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer in Wuerzburg, Germany in a deeper way. During my time there I would take quiet time to ask the Lord if I was called to be a religious with the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer. Jesus affirmed my calling to religious life through my prayer and a powerful feeling of love within my heart.
I am currently in Temporary Vows, living a consecrated life and deepening my commitment to the vows I took: poverty, chastity and obedience. These vows have enabled me to form a stronger relationship with Jesus, my Redeemer.
When looking at the vow of Poverty, I needed to detach myself from material things and share things in common with the community. This has enabled me to live a simpler life and count my blessings.
By living the vow of Chastity I am able to give myself completely to Christ, which has allowed me to have the freedom to love and serve all God’s people. This has enabled me to receive love through a deep relationship with Jesus. I also receive the love and support of others in community, and experience the joy in doing God’s will by serving others in my ministries at Drueding Center and Pastoral Care.
In living the vow of Obedience, I surrender myself by being obedient to Christ to draw closer to Him. I realize I must actively listen to the Holy Spirit and be open to how the Lord and the community believes my gifts and talents can be best used. This has allowed me to respond in faith by generously offering myself to the common good of the community.
Living a consecrated life has its challenges, just as any other vocation in life, but it is worth the commitment and dedication in order to serve the Church, community and God’s people. It is truly a gift from God!