How then, are people to call upon him in whom they have not attained faith? And how can they attain faith in him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear, if no one preaches? And how are men to preach, unless they be sent? (Roman 10:14)
The power the words of St. Paul (as above) originally had on me were the greatest of all. When I think of my vocation, I met a number of people who lead me to the Lord. The first time I visited the church was with a friend of mine who asked me "Would you like to come with me to church? They will teach us about the Lord".
There was a period of time, I troubled over whether or not to join a convent, and I recall one priest giving me the following advice. "Vocation is a gift from the Lord. If you sincerely wish for it, let the Lord decide. Believe the Lord! So you will know where to go from there, for sure! Let the Lord take care of your family, too, just like husbands take care of their wives' parents and brothers. The Lord is almighty. Do you think the Lord would forget the peoples' parents he has chosen?"
The Lord not only gave me my vocation, but also gave my family the gift of faith, too. Even though, my mother at the beginning disagreed with the idea of me joining a convent, she blessed me by saying, "You may go if you think you will find your own happiness".
I would like to share this episode with you, which is about some people I met during my life as a nun. It was on the first day I was sent to Hiroshima to open another branch of our convent. All we had with us were some futons and nothing else. The first thing we did was put the sign on the front gate which said, "The Daughters of St. Paul".
While we were having breakfast with empty ice cream cups as rice bowls and plastic sheet as a table, a mother and her daughter visited us. The mother asked us "I wonder if my daughter could join you, as she does so wish to do so? We found the name plate out the front, while taking a walk". During our conversation with them we found out that neither of them had been baptized. So, we told them to receive Baptism first, and referred them to a church we knew.
Three years later, the daughter joined a convent and still seems to be happy as a nun. When I heard about her I felt deep contentment, thankfulness and remembered the words of St. Paul.
I only hope that as a missionary, I will continue to walk along the road of vocation thanking the Lord and keeping the words of St. Paul in my heart for the rest of my life.
Translated into English by Chieko Sekine from the original Japanese text written by Sr. Habu.