Happiness and Joy in Religious Life?

I never wanted to be a religious sister (nun) because I felt I would never be happy.  This calls me to reflect on what is happiness.  Some say that happiness is a feeling.  It is when you feel good and cheerful about something that happened or is happening in your life.  However, I think that true happiness comes from when you make others happy.  After I went out of my way to assist someone and they unexpectedly tell me how much my helping meant to them.  I experience an unexpected warm feeling inside.  True happiness I think is a sense of fulfilment you feel even if what you did was not acknowledged, yet you know that deep down inside you did and gave of your best to help someone without any conscious ulterior motive.  You did it because it was the right and necessary thing to do at the time.

Everyone searches for happiness and many know that true happiness cannot be found in things, but in how we help others just because they need help.  Many sisters in religious life including my congregation the Dominicans of Sinsinawa, I know have spent many, many years serving others.  They have gone where the need is the greatest for the sake of the gospel.

Eighteen years later, after at first not wanting to be a sister, I am so happy that I eventually said yes to God and to embarking on this adventure.  I have experience many, many happy moments through service.  I have even experienced many joy-filled moments as a sister.  I have experienced many times that deep joy that can only come from Jesus, that joy that surpasses all understanding, even when things are not going the way I would like it too, yet that joy is still present.  I know that this is the vocation that I am called too, because I experience myself growing and blooming into the Lystra God created me to be, mainly because I have been blessed with good parents and I said yes to joining a great group of joyful and contemplative women called Dominicans of Sinsinawa.

What in your life gives you true happiness and joy?

How are you becoming who you were created to be?


Sr. Lystra Long, OP

St. Joseph, Trinidad & Tobago