We can begin to make real choices only after we have come to accept fully who we are with both its possibilities and its limitations. And only then can we exercise our ability to choose with the freedom which God intended for us.
When Jesus calls us to follow Him, he calls us by name. In the Gospels, we do not read that Jesus chose just another few men or a couple women. We read that he chose Simon and called him Peter; he chose James and John. Each of us Brothers is here at SSJE because we have heard God calling us by name to this vocation, and we have said “Yes.”
We believe that God calls every person for a unique purpose: to be fully who God created us to be – not to become somebody else! Psalm 139 puts this beautifully: “for you created my inmost parts . . . I will thank you because I am marvelously made.” Often in prayer we acknowledge our failings and faults, our sins and shortcomings. What if you looked in the mirror and prayed words of praise and gratitude for who God has made you to be? We can become so alive that when others see us, they actually see something of God radiating through us.
As we become fully the people God created us to be, God invites our continuing transformation. Each one of us has a unique vocation, a way that we alone can glorify God. Our community understands its vocation as a life of prayer and hospitality within our monasteries, as well as mission and service beyond their walls. As our Rule puts it: “We are to be prepared for God to call us to be active witnesses for peace and social justice, bearing witness to Christ’s presence on the side of people who are deprived and oppressed.” We pray to be transformed by God so that we can help transform the world.
What about you? Who are you at the deepest level? When Jesus looks at you and loves you, who does he see? What truly makes you come alive? Where is God inviting you to take a risk and to go deeper?
You can be sure that, like those first disciples, God will never abandon you to a life lived in the shallows. The challenge is, “Let your nets down into deep waters.” The promise is, “You will be filled to overflowing with abundant life.” Don’t settle for anything less.