"Jesus looking at him [the young man] with love said, 'You lack one thing. Go, sell all your possessions and give to the poor, then come Follow Me." (Mk 10:21) Over and over again, people kneel before the Lord and ask Him with sincere hearts, "Lord what can I do for you? Where shall I serve you?" And day after day, moment after moment, the Heart of Jesus calls "Follow Me!" He calls in different ways and to different vocations. But there are some who hear the special call Jesus gave to the young man in the Gospel passage above, the call to dispossess themselves completely and to follow Him into the hidden life of obedience in a cloister. This is indeed a special call, to devote one's life to prayer and sacrifice in the heart of the Church. And it is motivated by one thing only: that look of love from our Lord Jesus. Those who feel this call, who see His glance of love, desire only to return that Love for love, to give all without counting the cost. In this day where there is tv, radio, internet, ipods-- you name it-- God's voice often gets drown out by the constant noise and business-- the Voice that is only heard in the silence of the heart. And yet, He continues to call, to choose, to love.
Judy Baumgartner is one such person who while in the midst of the noise of the world, looked into her heart and heard God's call. Judy joined our community in August of this year and has recently been received by us as a postulant. Postulancy is a period when the woman discerning the Benedictine rule, our traditions, and our ways of prayer as she lives the community life. This is a period of discernment on the part of the individual and the community as we attempt to discover together whether she seems genuinely to be called to our monastery and way of life.
Judy, left a steady 15 year career with the Navy, a house and friends to follow Jesus's call to be one of His own. She says that what attracted her to this particular community is our "Benedictine spirituality, the daily rhythm of prayer and work, and the joyfulness/joyful spirit of the community." She daily seeks the face of God as she prays and works with us and learns everyday to go deeper into the heart of this life. She is a blessing to our community and to the Church.
If you are a woman discerning your vocation, join us for a weekend vocation retreat coming in January. For more information please visit us at: www.walburga.org/Vocations2.html