“The Almighty has Done Great Things for Me.” —Luke 1:49

06-05-2016Encountering ChristSr. Barbara

I grew up in a Catholic family and attended a school run by Franciscan sisters. These sisters instilled in me the desire to love God, through their witness. I would always see them praying their rosary or making a visit to the Church during lunch time. Their love for Jesus stirred in me the desire to love Him more deeply. The Archdiocese of New York had a custom of inviting two children from each Catholic school to wear the habit of the religious community which taught them. I was one of the children whom the sisters chose.

As I walked down the aisle of St. Patrick's Cathedral dressed up as a religious sister, I realized that it made me feel close to God and I wanted this. When I was a senior in high school I met with the superior of a community and spoke to her about entering religious life. She gave me a novena to the Infant of Prague and the Sacred Heart of Jesus to pray and instructed me to come back and speak to her after I was finished. I entered on September 8 — Our Lady's birthday. Despite becoming a sister, I still felt that I didn't really love Jesus as much as I desired. I kept trying to find a program or to read a book, or to learn a different way of praying. I always wanted more in my relationship with Jesus and so I kept searching for ways to love Him more deeply. As time went on, a friend invited me to a prayer meeting. I noticed the people there were praying from their hearts, not from a book; they were talking to Jesus as a friend. I asked how people learned to pray like this? I was then invited to be prayed over for a greater release of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I noticed immediate changes in my life, specifically in prayer. Before when I read the Bible I didn't understand what I was reading, now the Scriptures were coming alive, I felt that it was Jesus talking to me, that He was guiding and directing me. Through my years of living religious life I have found that by being in the presence of the Eucharist, placing all my concerns and cares before Him has allowed me to grow in the relationship I always longed for. Through spiritual direction, my mind and heart have experienced healing. God's love has been made personal to me; "The Almighty has done great things for me (Luke 1:49).