Olympic athletes remind this Sister of her vows
Last Sunday marked World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life Day, which celebrates the gifts that religious men and women bring to the Church and the world.
Over the weekend, as I watched Olympic figure skating I was impressed by the dedication and focus of each skater. What a beautiful sport! The gracious presence of each skater was impressive. I can’t imagine the work involved to get to that level of competition. But I also noticed how many of their skills are necessary for me to have.
First, dedication: Each skater was committed to hours of practice. Some put their education on hold to compete. Dedication is also a trait of religious women and men. They are committed to a life rooted in prayer and ministry. And yes, it takes practice. Every day we spend time in communal prayer and personal prayer. We are dedicated to growing in our relationship with God in community. Religious men and women are committed to serving the Church. They give their whole life to working with and for the people of God. Religious women and men serve as teachers, health care givers, pastoral ministers and parish leaders, faith formation personnel, spiritual directors, and hospital chaplains.
Second, focus: The figure skaters block out all distractions to focus on the routine. Religious men and women focus on Jesus and His mission. We are called to give our all to the people of God. We, too, need to stay focused and not let outside distractions call us away from the 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. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.”
No, 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 Christ.