Wednesday, February 1, 2012
by Sister Laura Zelten
This Sunday our Church celebrates Consecrated Life Day. This day is set aside to appreciate the gifts religious women and men bring to the Church.
It might sound strange but as I watched the U.S. Women's Figure Skating competition last Sunday, it occurred to me there were similarities between the successful skaters and those of us called to religious life.
First, the dedication to excellence: Each woman was committed to long hours of practice. Some put their education on hold in order to compete. Dedication is also a trait of religious women and men. We are committed to rooting our lives in prayer and ministry. And yes, it takes practice. Every day my Sisters and I spend time in communal prayer and personal prayer. We are dedicated to growing in our relationship with God. Renewed by prayer, religious women and men serve the Church. We give our whole lives to working with and for the people of God, whether as teachers, health-care givers, pastoral ministers, parish directors, faith formation personnel or hospital chaplains.
Second, the ability to stay focused: Figure skaters need to block out all distractions so they can perform their routines flawlessly. At one point during Sunday's competition a skater slipped and fell because she looked up at the crowd after hearing her name called. She lost her focus. We religious women and men are called to give our all to the people of God. For that to happen we must stay focused on Jesus and His mission.
Like St. Paul tells us, our crown is the gift of eternal life. "I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith."
We may not be champion figure skaters, but we are champions in the light of Christ. May you, too, see yourself as someone who has their eyes on the prize of Jesus.