There are many different ways of following Christ and religious life is just one of them.
A personal and inner meeting with the Christ of the Gospel is at the very centre of everything, and it is a decisive element when choosing religious life.
It may be a particular moment in our lives or part of a longer journey that leads us to the inner certainty of a love that carries us, fills us, invites us onwards, and sets us on our way.
The calling that we first feel in our hearts needs to be confirmed.
Spiritual Direction can be one of the means to verify our desire and to enable us to discern:
- what it is that dwells in our deepest being
- how God comes to meet us there
- where the joy of our heart lies
A religious community
Choosing one particular religious community from amongst many others means that something of that community has resonated with you. Something about the way these women live speaks to you of your own experience; their way of life, their spirit gives shape to something of your own wishes. You find something that attracts you. Their vocation resonates with yours.
The community is a place where our desire to follow Christ can become a reality. Not by oneself but within the dynamic life of a community, a place where we are sent to live as sisters and to know and experience together that which we wish to proclaim.
at Saint Andrews
© fr. Stephen de Taizé
The spirit which guides and characterises us as Sisters of Saint Andrew could be described as:
An apostolic vocation
Like Andrew, the disciple of Jesus
- we respond to the call of Jesus to “Come and see”, to live with him and follow him to the end;
- we can only offer the five loaves and two fish that we are, so that through us he can accomplish his work;
- we want to bring to Jesus the men and women that we meet, so that they in turn may also experience the true freedom that comes through meeting him.
Like Ignatius of Loyola
- we try to see the world and our own lives as the place where God is at work;
- we are called to come to know Jesus Christ more intimately so that we may learn to choose what he chooses, and in doing so take the place of a humble servant (Spiritual Exercises 104);
- we are filled with the desire to put ourselves at the service of his Mission in the world, so that “They may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10: 10).
A vocation marked by ecumenism
“We feel ourselves drawn
to the love of the Churches and the Church,
according to God’s will and as He loves.
This means that we feel called to
a greater openness than that which is at present
experienced by our local churches;
to the desire for a better knowledge
and greater understanding,
for the place of respect in the face of differences;
to an attentiveness and loving regard
in relation to the different ways
of living and expressing our faith
in the search for unity.”
(General Congregation 2005)
A vocation open to universality
Our Congregation is not tied to any one place or any one particular work, but is called to live anywhere in the world where – to use a term dear to Ignatius – there is a greater hope of serving God and “helping souls”.
Seen in this light the way ahead opens up before us and invites us to a continual discernment when choosing our missions, keeping in mind that no human situation should be excluded from this choice