Wednesday, December 10, 2014

With My Whole Heart

By Laura Coughlin

About a month ago, the superintendent of the building where I live in Boston said to me, "I don’t mean to ask personal questions, but I was wondering – why did you become a nun?"  I thought about what I would say for a minute, and then decided to risk the answer that was the least sophisticated and the truest.  "I wanted to love Jesus with my whole heart, and I thought this would be a good way to do it."  

The world is looking for witnesses whose lives will speak of Christ’s fully satisfying love.  The Church and our new Pope are calling all of the faithful to a high degree of personal responsibility for the faith.  This task will require from every Catholic, a commitment to solid personal discernment and substantial spiritual and faith formation.  This task is a challenging one in a postmodern context, but I have come to believe that religious life is well suited to it. 

The experience of learning theology at Boston College has made me ever more aware of how valuable our religious formation is.  Our lives in community and on mission form us to a way of thinking about God’s constant presence.  Each semester seems to locate a question in me about how to use the education I am receiving.  This semester, the word “formation” is surfacing as I think about waking up the world.

How can we bring the treasure of our formation to the world?  How do we help those who lack our resources to think about God and know Him in a refreshing way --  in a way that reduces human loneliness by building relationships fashioned in the heart of Christ?

Name: Sr. Laura Coughlin
Congregation: Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill
Stage in vows: Made final vows 7 years ago
Hometown: Shelby Twp., Michigan
Current Study: Working on an MDiv (Master of Divinity) at Boston College

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